Raleigh, N.C. (WNCN) — One race became more apparent as the days closed in on the primary while the other was essentially won before election day.
Former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has so much support from democrats that the other leading contenders dropped out to support her in her bid for U.S. Senate. Congressman Ted Budd gained the endorsement of Donald Trump nearly a year before his race, helping Budd seal a win over former Governor Pat McCrory.
In November there will be 35 U.S. Senate seats up for election. The stakes couldn’t be higher. That includes the effort to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Richard Burr.
“It will absolutely be one of the most expensive hotly contested races in the country,” said Steven Greene, professor of political science at N.C. State. “The control of the United States Senate is up for grabs and that’s often the case in a mid-term. And as we have seen whether the Senate is 51/49 one way or the other can actually be a very very big deal” he said.
Rather than democrats and republicans throwing their money into senate races that are pretty much a guarantee for one party or the other, the cash will go into the toss-up states like North Carolina. The proof is already on TV with a million-dollar ad buy attacking Beasley even before she won the primary. Within days Beasley launched an ad to rebut the claims.
“Even though Republicans have held this seat they’ve generally been close races and we are pretty close to being a 50/50 state. So you know the idea is you spend a hundred dollars or a hundred million dollars, right, in North Carolina you can actually tip the balance of that senate race,” said Greene.