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2014 Watch

Poll: Third-party protest vote goes up to 11 in North Carolina Senate race

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The latest poll from North Carolina, fresh off of last week's Republican primary, shows a dead heat in the state's U.S. Senate race between Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and her GOP challenger, state House Speaker Thom Tillis.

The survey by Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling shows Hagan with 38 percent support, Tillis at 36 percent — and Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh with an unusually high 11 percent, plus another 15 percent who are undecided. In fact, both major candidates being highly unpopular; Hagan's job rating stands at just 38 percent approval to 49 percent disapproval, while Tillis' personal rating is an even worse 30 percent favorable to 46 percent unfavorable.

Moreover, a follow-up question asked Haugh's supporters whether they would lean toward Hagan or Tillis — and found yet another split of 41 percent for Hagan against 41 percent for Tillis.

The pollster's analysis also finds that undecided voters previously voted for President Obama in 2012 by an 18-point margin — contrary to many other races throughout the country, in which undecided voters have been leaning Republican. "That makes it likely this race will remain within a couple points one way or the other moving forward."

The poll was conducted from May 9 to May 11, and has a 3.3 percent margin of error.