With Republican support for him cratering in recent months, Senator Tillis has earned himself a primary challenger – a conservative Raleigh businessman with the potential to self-fund his campaign and force Tillis even further right.
Senator Tillis’ recent troubles started with his “Olympic gold flip-flop” on President Trump’s national emergency declaration that put funding for North Carolina military projects at risk. After promising to stand up against the president’s overreach and alienating Republicans, Tillis quickly caved and deserted himself for Trump. A Morning Consult poll released last month found that Senator Tillis paid a price: his approval rating among Republican voters dropped 12 points since the start of the year and he now “has the second-lowest base support among GOP Senators up in 2020.”
Here’s a taste of what North Carolina Republicans have been saying about Tillis:
North Carolina isn’t the only intra-party battle brewing for Senate Republicans, who are also preparing for messy primaries in Alabama and Kansas. With a total of three open Republican seats already emerging because of incumbent retirements, Republicans may also have crowded free-for-alls in states like Wyoming and Tennessee.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Stewart Boss issued the following statement:
“Senator Tillis earned this primary challenge with his self-serving political gymnastics, and it will without a doubt make his already embattled re-election campaign even more difficult.”
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