Carolina Journal’s Dan Way asked Meredith College political science professor David McLennan for perspective on the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan, Republican N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis, and Libertarian Sean Haugh.
Some pundits consider Hagan among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats, and in light of that, she is shifting to the political center.
“She’s got advertising out saying she is the most moderate candidate,” McLennan said.
“So turning the table and attacking Tillis, and the General Assembly, is just part of the same strategy of trying to say … she reflects more North Carolinian views, and she’s moderate just like North Carolinians,” McLennan said.
“She’s trying to get away from anything that can be hung on her that says Washington, D.C., Barack Obama, Affordable Care Act, immigration failure, whatever it may be,” he said.
One potential pitfall to running as a moderate could be the makeup of this year’s midterm electorate.
“There is some evidence out there right now that suggests the voting electorate in November 2014 is going to be more similar to the voting electorate in November 2010 than it was in 2012,” McLennan said.
“So if we have an electorate that looks like 2010, you might say that makes North Carolina a little more conservative than moderate,” McLennan said. The voting mix in 2012 was more middle of the road.
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