Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan could face a tough re-election fight in 2014, according to a new poll.
Hagan leads a hypothetical Republican opponent by a 46-43 percent margin, according to a survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm based in Raleigh. Hagan has an approval rating of 35 percent and a disapproval rating of 37 percent, with 28 percent not sure.
No candidate has announced, but there has been wide speculation that House Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius may run. There has also been talk about possible interest by Senate leader Phil Berger and U.S. Attorney George Holding, should he be elected in November to Congress.
No Democrat has been re-elected to a Senate seat in North Carolina since Sam Ervin Jr. in 1968.
John Edwards did not seek re-election in 2004, Terry Sanford was defeated in 1992, and Robert Morgan was defeated in 1980.
The survey of 981 likely North Carolina voters was conducted Sept. 27-31 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.