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Cal Cunningham’s Campaign Momentum Continues This Week, While Tillis Remains Least Popular Senator In The Country

Momentum for Cal Cunningham’s campaign continues this week — from releasing his first TV ad to a new poll where Cal again leads Senator Thom Tillis.

Cal Cunningham’s first television ad began airing yesterday in the Raleigh market, highlighting Cal’s military service and commitment to taking on the corruption in Washington that’s blocking progress on issues that matter to North Carolinians, including lowering prescription drug costs, guaranteeing coverage for preexisting conditions and expanding Medicaid.

Meanwhile, Thom Tillis remains the least popular Senator in the country — a fact that’s on full display in recent weeks as Tillis faces pressure from his primary opponents to debate, and continues to face criticism over his refusal to call for a fair impeachment trial in the Senate. It’s no wonder the Charlotte Observer recently said of Tillis he “embarrasses himself and the state he represents.”

It’s clear Cal’s message is resonating as he travels North Carolina. On Monday, Cal commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at multiple events, and on Tuesday, he attended a candidate forum hosted by Charlotte’s Black Political Caucus.

In Charlotte, Cal made a clear case to voters on health care, promising that he would build on the Affordable Care Act by adding a public option and supports Medicaid expansion in North Carolina,” in stark contrast to Tillis who has voted to dismantle the ACA and who, as Speaker of the North Carolina House, blocked Medicaid expansion.

Read what they’re saying about Cal’s campaign this week. 

Associated Press: Cunningham unveils first ad for his N Carolina Senate bid

  • North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham is highlighting his military service in his first television ad of his campaign.

  • Cunningham’s campaign committee said the 30-second spot would begin airing Wednesday in the Raleigh TV market as part of a “seven-figure” investment in television, online and mail advertising that will expand in the coming weeks.

  • In the TV ad, Cunningham says he’s running for the Senate to fulfill the oath that he took when he joined the Army Reserve to defend the Constitution. The former state senator says “corruption” in Washington is blocking progress on health-related issues that matter to people. Cunningham has served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

News & Observer: Cunningham invokes military service, health care issues in first television ad

  • In his first campaign television ad, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham called corruption in Washington “one of the greatest threats to our country.”

  • The 30-second spot focuses on Cunningham’s military service before shifting to health care issues — lowering prescription drug costs, guaranteeing coverage for preexisting conditions and expanding Medicaid — that Cunningham says are being threatened due to corruption in Washington.

  • Cunningham, a one-term state senator and lawyer, was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the Army Reserves. The ad features images of Cunningham in uniform imposed on a barn while he speaks in the foreground, and he opens by talking about joining the military.

  • The Cunningham ad buy is part of a seven-figure campaign that includes digital advertising and direct mail. Cunningham’s campaign said he would report $1.7 million cash on hand for the fourth quarter of 2019. Those reports are due to the FEC by the end of the month.

  • “I think the path to victory is first to travel and to listen, to connect with people where they are and listen to their ideas and their plans and the things that are making them anxious,” Cunningham said earlier this month.

Charlotte Observer: Democratic Senate candidates in North Carolina face off at their first forum 

  • Asked about health care, former state Sen. Cal Cunningham said he would build on the Affordable Care Act by adding a public option. He also said he supports Medicaid expansion in North Carolina.

  • Cunningham, whose first TV ads start Wednesday in Raleigh, said he’s “building a campaign that will go the distance.” His campaign says it’s part of a “7-figure” buy that includes digital and mail advertising.

  • He has been endorsed by national Democrats and more than 100 Democratic leaders. His fund-raising has an edge over his opponents.

The Daily Tar Heel: Politicians and community members gather to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Chapel Hill’s 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Day events brought together activists, local leaders and state leaders to reflect on King’s legacy in Chapel Hill and beyond.

  • Monday morning’s event was sponsored by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP’s Youth Council, and it included a rally, a mingling event of “coffee and conversations” and an interfaith service involving Christian, Islamic and Jewish faith leaders.

  • State leaders who attended the event included N.C. Sen. Valerie Foushee, D-District 23, and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham. Cunningham said he was excited by the rally’s energy.

  • “One of the key parts of his message is that we are called to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers — that we have an obligation in our short time here on earth to serve each other and to be mindful of what it means to look after our neighbors,” Cunningham said.

Politico Pro: Democratic poll shows tight Senate race in North Carolina

  • Democrat Cal Cunningham is locked in a close race with GOP Sen. Thom Tillis in the battleground North Carolina Senate race, according to a Democratic-sponsored poll shared with POLITICO.

  • The poll, conducted by ALG Research on behalf of the outside group End Citizens United — which has endorsed Cunningham — showed the Democrat marginally ahead of the Republican incumbent, 44 percent to 42 percent, with 13 percent of voters undecided.

  • The poll showed Tillis with underwater favorability ratings, with 35 percent of voters viewing him favorably compared with 38 percent who viewed him unfavorably.