RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (AP) — Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina rode President Barack Obama's coattails in 2008, winning a seat Republicans had held for nearly four decades.
Now Hagan faces a powerful Republican rebound as she seeks a second term in November 2014. Her saving grace in the race could be a crowded GOP primary, which might leave the Republican nominee battered and broke.
North Carolina's political balance is far different now than it was in 2008, a remarkable year for Democrats.
Today, the GOP controls the state's executive and legislative branches for the first time since 1870. Republicans also hold nine of the state's 13 House seats. And while North Carolina voted for Obama in 2008, last year the state narrowly backed Republican Mitt Romney.