March 5, 2020/Media

NEW POLL: Veteran Cal Cunningham Starts General Election Strong, Leads Unpopular Tillis

First poll released during the general election reflects other pre-primary polling showing Tillis “strikingly unpopular” and trailing Cunningham

Cunningham starts general election strong — outraising Tillis, unifying Democrats, kicking off statewide tour

As Democratic nominee Cal Cunningham kicks off his general election statewide tour this week, polling released today shows Cunningham leading incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis by 5 points (46% Cunningham – 41% Tillis).

The poll, the first released during the general election, reflects other public polling showing Cunningham in a strong position and Tillis falling behind. A NBC News/Marist poll released earlier this week also found Cunningham beating Tillis by 5 points.

It’s not just head-to-head polling that is flashing red warning lights for Tillis. Other polls have found him “strikingly unpopular,” with more people disapproving of his job performance than approving of it. In a pre-primary poll from WRAL in Raleigh, Tillis was underwater statewide – including with key demographic groups such as women, independents, and military households. Other polls have found the same.

On top of that, polling shows that Tillis is still struggling to coalesce his base (no wonder he was booed at a Trump rally a day before the primary *for a third time in a year*). According to WRAL, Tillis trails Trump’s approval rating with base Republicans by 28 points (92% – 64%).

That was reflected on Tuesday, when Tillis “earned 141,789 fewer votes in his primary than President Donald Trump did in his” and Republican voters remarked that Tillis “had made some stumbles’ previously when it came to his allegiance to Trump.

As Tillis hobbles into the general election, veteran Cal Cunningham starts in a strong position. Cunningham outraised Tillis two to one in the first 43 days of 2020, is consolidating the Democratic base, and kicked off a statewide tour in his hometown where he promised to “take the values and morals he learned growing up and working in Lexington with him to Washington.”