More than a year into his campaign for reelection, and after spending nearly $2 million in ads — including ads during his primary that focused on President Trump — Senator Tillis is still “struggling” to win over base Republican voters, according to a new poll released today.
It gets worse for Tillis.
He’s also losing independent voters, down 8 points to veteran Cal Cunningham, and has a net -16 rating favorability rating (28% approve vs. 44% disapprove) compared to Cunningham’s positive favorability ratings.
But it’s Tillis’ “real problem with base enthusiasm” that sets him apart. Among Trump voters, “just 49% like him to 19% who don’t and 32% have no opinion,” a similar “weakness with Trump fans” as failed candidates Kelly Ayotte and Joe Heck.
Senator Tillis has struggled — and failed — to consolidate base Republicans all cycle. He has been booed at three different Trump rallies in the last year, and conservative voters have blasted him as “wishy-washy,” a “fair-weather friend,” and a “snake.” As he’s tried to win back voters, he hasn’t “made any inroads with the independent base in North Carolina.”
Today’s poll tracks with other public surveys released recently that show veteran Cal Cunningham in a strong position and Senator Tillis weakly limping along, especially after Cunningham raised “a record” $7.4 million in the second quarter of the year.
“There’s one thing Democrats and Republican can agree on: Thom Tillis isn’t worthy of reelection,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “Four months before the election, Senator Tillis is still struggling with base Republicans and independent voters because he’s a weak, self-serving politician who no one, regardless of party, trusts.”