Senator Tillis’ weakness with voters in-state and his standing as one of the most vulnerable Senators in the county got even clearer this week, as first quarter fundraising reports and new polling in-state showed veteran Cal Cunningham “has momentum.”
“Money Woes”: Q1 All “Bad News” for Tillis
This week’s report was all “bad news” for Tillis as he faced “money woes” and a “pronounced” fundraising gap. Cunningham had a “massive fundraising haul” and more than doubled Senator Tillis’ fundraising in Q1, raising more than $4.4 million compared to Tillis’ less than $2.1 million.
The “big quarterly increase” from Cunningham wasn’t the only bad news for Tillis in this report — Tillis received “just 7 percent of his campaign cash from small donors,” revealing yet again that he’s beholden to wealthy special interests. And while Tillis’ camp touted their cash-on-hand, “that will narrow rapidly if he can’t keep up with the Democrat’s fundraising pace.”
Worse for Tillis, the money advantage revealed “off-the-charts Democratic enthusiasm… a sign Democratic turnout is likely to be sky-high in November.” As one nonpartisan analyst put it, “the Republicans are not seeing the same enthusiasm when the Senate is very much in play.”
When your own campaign manager has to trash your fundraising on-the-record because there’s no way to spin it, you know you’re not in a good place…
New Polls Show “Red Flags” for Tillis
The bad news didn’t stop there. New state-level polls show “similar red flags to the fundraising figures” for Senator Tillis. One poll released this week showed Cunningham ahead of Tillis by 7 points and winning independents by 17 points.
Even a poll from a conservative outlet showed Tillis below 40%, as national analysts said “these aren’t good numbers for Tillis,” noted that incumbents “never wants to be below 50%, much less under 40%” and wrote that the head-to-head number “is less important than an incumbent at 38%.” (One analyst even warned, “I wouldn’t give much attention to this survey.”)
Tillis continues to trail Cunningham in the RealClearPolitics polling averages, “a worrisome position for any incumbent,” and has “dreadful” approval ratings. Add it all up and it’s clear Cunningham “has momentum” and Tillis is weaker than ever before.