The North Carolina Senate Race

The Story:

The Democratic Party’s candidate for a seat in the US Senate from North Carolina, Cal Cunningham, did unexpectedly well in campaign fund raising in the third quarter, receiving more than $28.3 million. The number for his opponent, Senator Thom Tillis (R) is not yet available.


Tillis is finishing up his first term as Senator. Before he entered politics he worked for the accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Tillis’ campaign has taken a hit in recent days because he has tested positive for Covid-19. This requires that he self-isolate, which will limit his campaigning. It also feeds into the Democratic narrative that the Republican Party has badly bungled the public-policy response to the pandemic and continues to do so.

Cunningham’s campaign has also taken a hit in recent days. He has been discovered to have exchanged romantic text messages with a woman not his wife. The letters are not explicitly sexual, and the “other woman” is a consenting adult. But there are rumors another shoe may drop.

The Thing to Know: 

Cunningham is leading Tillis roughly 43% to 42% in a recent poll by Meredith College, of Raleigh. The difference between them is within the poll’s margin of error.  This is a pretty dramatic condition for a race that could determine which party controls the US Senate next year.

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