Since Pat McCrory’s entrance into North Carolina’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, the “potentially bruising” race to the nomination is heating up as more and more candidates consider joining the field. That includes a “recent wrinkle” for McCrory — Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson who is “taking a serious look” at running. One recent poll shows Robinson leading McCrory. Congressman Ted Budd is also being encouraged to run by the Club for Growth.
With Trump “loom[ing] large,” the “wild” primary is getting even tougher for desperate loser Pat McCrory. The failed former governor has “already taken heat” from his current primary opponent, former Congressman Mark Walker, who says McCrory is “out of step with the current base of the party” — a likely “opening against McCrory” for his fellow Republicans.
With all of that on top of McCrory’s failed governing record in Raleigh, “it’s likely to be a brutal fight for the nomination.”
- Former Gov. Pat McCrory, who won the governorship in 2012 but was ousted four years later, launched a bid Wednesday, becoming the second prominent Republican in the race, alongside former Rep. Mark Walker. And Rep. Ted Budd and Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson are seriously considering running, creating a potentially bruising primary in a critical seat.
- Trump’s shadow continues to loom large over the race, for now.
- He’s also already taking heat from other Republicans, who criticized his 2016 defeat and say he is out of step with the current base of the party.
- It’s likely to be a brutal fight for the nomination.
- Walker took a swing at McCrory this week, while touting his own record having voted 97 percent of the time with Trump while in office.
- A more recent wrinkle this week is the interest of Robinson, who was elected lieutenant governor last year in his first ever run for political office, becoming the first Black lieutenant governor in the state. In a video posted online this week, Robinson confirmed he was taking a “serious look” at the Senate race. He also referenced poll numbers showing him well positioned in the primary.
- In a poll conducted by the GOP firm Cygnal, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO, Lara Trump had 32 percent support in a hypothetical matchup, while Robinson had 20 percent and McCrory was in third with 14 percent. Trump, McCrory and Robinson all had high name identification and were viewed positively among primary voters.
- Other Republicans see an opening against McCrory, in particular because of comments the former governor made criticizing then-candidate Trump during the 2016 campaign following the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape.
- McCrory, who served seven terms as Charlotte mayor before running twice for governor, raised eyebrows in his launch video by declaring himself an “outsider.”