Democratic North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan is running for reelection with ads that talk about trade.
"Kay's going to bat for us against China."
Trade is a huge issue for many blue-collar voters and in "rust-belt" regions that have been wiped out by the offshoring of our jobs and factories. People understand that "NAFTA-style" trade deals enabled companies to cross the borders of democracy with its good wages and environmental protections, and then bring the same goods back here to sell to the same customers. This has wiped out the middle class, shifting the income and wealth to the top few who own the companies.
President Obama understood this when he campaigned for president.
However, right after taking office Obama reversed himself, and has promoted NAFTA-style trade agreements since. This puts many Democrats in a bind; do they take a popular position but campaign against their own president?
This has given Hagan an opportunity. She has concluded that campaigning against core Democrat positions will somehow get Democrats to come to the polls and vote for her, which at least gives her the opening to campaign against President Obama on trade.
Another Hagan ad includes, "She stood up to President Obama to put North Carolina first on trade."
Hagan is outperforming other Democrats in red states and this is part of, if not the reason, why.