Former state senator Cal Cunningham claimed a victory for the Democratic Senate primary in North Carolina, according to Decision Desk HQ.
- North Carolina voters voted for a Democratic nominee to face off against GOP Sen. Thom Tillis.
- North Carolina is now a crucial battleground state in the electoral college, and its Senate race is set to be a prime pick-up opportunity for Democrats.
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Cal Cunningham, a former state senator and US Army Veteran, was largely favoured to win – and now he has claimed the Democratic nomination in a landslide victory. According to DDHQ, he won by a majority in the state with 57% of the votes.
Cunningham will now face off against GOP Sen. Thom Tillis to represent the “tar heel state” in the Senate.
North Carolina US Senate Democratic primary results:
Who are the candidates?
The main candidates competing for the Democratic nomination are:
- Former State Senator Cal Cunningham
- State Senator Erica Smith
- Mecklenburg County Commissioner Trevor Fuller
- Doctor Atul Goel
North Carolina is a runoff state, meaning that if no one candidate earns over 30% of the vote in the primary, the top-two finishers can advance to a runoff if the second-place candidate asks for it.
Who does the polling say is ahead?
Cunningham, a former state senator and US Army Veteran, is largely favoured to win the Democratic nomination. Not only does he lead the field in fundraising, but he’s received the backing of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and other major Democrats.
An NBC News/Marist College poll of North Carolina conducted between February 23-27 showed Cunningham handily leading the Democratic field with 51% support from likely Democratic primary voters compared to 18% support for Smith.
Cunningham also recently picked up the endorsement of the Charlotte Observer, who said he “offers a wider appeal, a diverse coalition of supporters and the most well-funded Democratic campaign, and he does so without compromising Democratic Party values.”
North Carolina is situated to be an important swing state in the 2020 election, and its Senate race is shaping up to a promising pick-up opportunity for Democrats to make a dent in the Republicans’ Senate majority.
Not only is Tillis squeezed on both sides to fend off GOP primary challengers who argue he hasn’t been sufficiently loyal to Trump, but preliminary general election polls show that Cunningham would be a formidable candidate against Tillis in a general election.
The same NBC/Marist poll showed Cunningham leading by five percentage points 48%-43% in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up between the two.
New NBC poll has Thom Tillis trailing Cal Cunningham by 5 points. We have seen similar in our private polling. Right there with CO, AZ, and ME for most endangered GOP held seats
— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) March 1, 2020
Catch up on live coverage from the primary:
While you wait for North Carolina results to come in, head over to our main Super Tuesday post to follow all the action.