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11.4.19

New From Roll Call: Senator Tillis “Faces Battle On Two Fronts” As One Of The Top Three Most Vulnerable GOP Senators

In new ratings out today from Roll Call, Senator Thom Tillis is among the top three most vulnerable GOP Senators, as he “faces battles on two fronts” — his primary challenge from Garland Tucker “who’s already forced the incumbent to reserve $2 million in TV ads to build his name recognition and strengthen his support with the conservative base,” and a challenge from Army veteran Cal Cunningham “who raised nearly as much as Tillis in the third quarter.” 

In fact, “Cal Cunningham edged Tillis out” among individual donors last quarter and has has picked up support in all 100 counties, while Tillis relied “on big-money donors and industry political action committees” to prop up his campaign.

To make matters worse, the Tillis-Tucker primary heated up this month with Tillis releasing a new TV ad to respond to attacks on his conservative credentials including a six-figure ad buy from a pro-Garland Tucker group and multiple ads from Garland Tucker’s campaign. Tillis was already spending $2 million on TV, plus invested in digital ads, radio ads and a microsite.

Tillis’ nearly unmatched vulnerability follows three consecutive polls that have Cal beating Tillis, and toss-up ratings from Inside Elections and Sabato’s Crystal Ball.

Read more from Roll Call below.


Roll Call: The 10 most vulnerable senators in 2020: Republicans play defense

By Bridget Bowman and Simone Pathe — November 4, 2019

  • Democrats are largely on offense in Senate races in 2020. They need a net gain of four seats to win the majority, or three if they win the White House since the vice president would be the tie-breaking vote.

  • Campaign strategists in both parties suggested Republicans Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Martha McSally of Arizona were in more vulnerable positions than Collins.

  • Running for his second term, Tillis faces battles on two fronts. First, he’s confronting a self-funding primary opponent in businessman Garland Tucker, who’s already forced the incumbent to reserve $2 million in TV ads to build his name recognition and strengthen his support with the conservative base.

  • Even after flipping on Trump’s national emergency declaration on the southern border to side with the president, Tillis was booed at Trump’s most recent rally in the Tar Heel State.

  • Army veteran Cal Cunningham looks like the front-runner on the Democratic side.

  • …the former state senator raised nearly as much as Tillis in the third quarter.

Read more here.