Raleigh – Senator Tillis announced today that he raised a paltry $1.2 million in Q3, an anemic fundraising total for one of the most vulnerable Senators that represents a 37% drop from the previous fundraising quarter. Tillis is facing an increasingly nasty Republican primary that’s already forced him to dump $2.2 million (nearly half his cash on hand) on TV and radio ads, a “flashing red light” that the weak incumbent is vulnerable even with Republicans and could lose to his GOP challenger.
Senator Tillis continues to reveal he’s struggling in his nasty primary. Today, he launched a microsite and even more ads today that featured questionable at best attacks against conservative businessman Garland Tucker.
Before that, Tillis repeatedly and openly worried about his Republican primary:
- “I’ve got my own primary. There’s a lot of people saying that I’m recruiting other people, which is a silly concept when I’m going to have one of the most expensive races in U.S. history just for my own re-election.” [Charlotte Observer]
- “How does anybody on eight hours of sleep think that I’m going to spend any time and resources on any primary but my own?” [National Journal]
In the last month, three separate nonpartisan elections analysts moved the North Carolina Senate race in Democrats’ direction because of how weak Tillis is with voters, writing that Tillis is “sweating” his primary, has an “image problem” after his egregious flip-flops, and that “voters of all ideological stripes simply don’t trust Tillis.” Meanwhile, he’s underwater with North Carolina’s Republican voters, faced a “chorus of boos” at GOP rallies, and spending $2 million on ads to escape his primary challenge.
Read more on why Senator Tillis is the weakest he’s ever been:
- Inside Elections: 2020 Senate Overview (Oct. 11, 2019): North Carolina
- Cook Political Report: Tillis Moves to Lean Republican
- Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: The Senate: Ratings Changes and the Shadow of Impeachment
- Fayetteville Observer: Our View: Tillis did not stand up to Trump for state’s military funding
- Charlotte Observer: Editorial: Thom Tillis’ terrible, no good and totally predictable bad day