Live look at the GOP Senate primary in North Carolina today after a week of attack ads, infighting, competing internal polling, and outside groups spending millions as the candidates desperately try to undermine their opponents in this divisive and nasty race:
Catch up on the latest chaos:
Associated Press: In campaign ad, McCrory calls out Budd on Putin, sanctions
- The commercial, which began airing Wednesday on cable, uses pieces of recent TV interviews that Budd gave to attempt to paint him as being complimentary of Putin. The ad marks the first in the race for McCrory, who was governor from 2013 through 2016. It seeks to counter a wave of commercials that the Club for Growth Action super PAC has run backing the congressman and attacking McCrory.
- Budd campaign adviser Jonathan Felts said Budd “accurately described Putin as an evil, intelligent threat to be taken seriously” and called McCrory a “desperate candidate flailing about.”
Breitbart: Exclusive — Club for Growth Begins Massive Pro-Budd North Carolina Senate Blitz with Brutal Hit Slamming McCrory for Fauci Praise
- Part of a forthcoming $10 million campaign of television and digital ads in the final two months of the race—literally salting the earth in the Tar Heel State in the home stretch to seal the deal for Budd—the ad pulls up a radio interview McCrory did with Fauci praising the controversial doctor and urging masks.
Politico: Trump’s man in North Carolina struggles in Senate primary
- McCrory remained off the air as Club for Growth Action, the conservative super PAC backing Budd, has aired more than $4 million worth of ads since last year.
- As the pinch on Budd tightens — and as Club President David McIntosh has taken a close interest in the North Carolina primary — the group is now pouring millions more into ad buys, raising their initial pledge of $10 million to at least $14 million to support Budd.
- “We’re going to do what it takes to win,” said Club for Growth spokesperson Joe Kildea.
- But after months of attacks against him that went unanswered on air, McCrory is now hitting back.
NC Insider: Budd Polling
- Former Gov. Pat McCrory leads U.S. Rep. Ted Budd among GOP primary voters in their U.S. Senate race, but the gap between the frontrunners is shrinking, according to a polling memo from the Budd campaign’s pollster Rob Autry of Meeting Streets Insights.
- The memo said that McCrory’s favorable ratings have dropped from a plus-44 in June to a plus-18 now. Budd is at plus-30 favorable with a lower favorable image and a much lower unfavorable. Walker is at plus-25 and few people have an opinion either way on Eastman, according to the memo.
- The new numbers come as McCrory is on the air with his first television ad of the campaign, hitting Budd for comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin. Club For Growth has reserved ad positions in every market across the state on broadcast and cable through the May 17 primary, according to its public media plan for Budd. Club For Growth, which has spent more than $4.3 million for Budd and against McCrory so far, plans to spend an additional $10 million. Its latest ad attacks McCrory for positive comments about Dr. Anthony Fuaci and in favor of mask wearing, Brietbart reported.