• 66°

Tillis’ win or Hagan’s loss?

Elizabeth Dole may have taken particular satisfaction in following election returns Tuesday night. The Salisbury native and longtime public servant lost her seat in the U.S. Senate six years ago to an opponent who claimed Dole voted with President George W. Bush 92 percent of the time.

Tuesday was payback time. Pundits and political scientists will identify many factors in Sen. Kay Hagan’s defeat. But a Tillis ad juxtaposing Hagan’s 2008 statements with her own voting record — agreeing with Obama 96 percent of the time, allegedly — was particularly effective.

Can you say poetic justice?

Of course, if you started to analyze U.S. senators from North Carolina who did not win re-election, you’d be busy for a long time. Sam Ervin was the last Democratic senator from the state to win another term, in 1968. With the exception of Jesse Helms, Republicans have a similar story.

But let’s stick to the present and future. Tom Tillis won a close, $110 million race that will have national repercussions as the GOP takes control of the Senate. The diversity changing the face of North Carolina — indeed, of America — has not been the boon to Democratic candidates that some predicted. And the women’s vote that was expected to bolster Hagan was offset by men supporting Tillis. It was a wash. Identification with the president was a much stronger factor, in a negative way. Did Hagan lose the race by missing some crucial step or did Tillis simply win it on the strength of his record and philosophy? Again, it’s a wash.

Tillis was in a difficult position — portrayed by Democrats as mastermind of draconian budget cuts while tea partiers viewed him as not conservative enough. When he gets to Washington, will he be a moderating influence or opt to fall in behind others? His constituents will be watching with great interest.

Elizabeth Dole’s feelings aside, the best thing about election night was the end of the TV political ads and telephone calls. Dueling attack ads made watching TV much less enjoyable over the past two months. How can something that makes people so unhappy work so effectively?

Anyway, it’s over. From the county commission race to school board to U.S. Senate, voters had solid candidates to consider. Congratulations to the winners and condolences to the losers. Now, let’s work as hard at finding solutions as we did at winning the election.

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month

Local

City makes some appointments to local boards, holds off on others to seek women, appointees of color

Education

Education briefs: RCCC instructor honored by Occupational Therapy Association

Local

Second quarter financial update shows promising outlook for city’s budget

Columnists

Genia Woods: Let’s talk about good news in Salisbury

Local

City attorney will gather more information for Salisbury nondiscrimination ordinance

Education

North Hills planning to hold May fundraiser in person

East Spencer

Developers aim to transform former Dunbar School site into multi-purpose community development

Education

Knox student organizing event to get community cycling

Education

Decision on Essie Mae charter appeal expected Thursday

Nation/World

House passes sweeping voting rights bill over GOP opposition

Nation/World

Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol

Nation/World

States rapidly expanding vaccine access as supplies surge

News

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper receives COVID-19 vaccine

News

North Carolina health officials urge schools to reopen

Crime

In letter, PETA criticizes Salisbury Police for K-9 video

Coronavirus

Three deaths, 29 new COVID-19 positives reported

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found in woman’s Park Avenue apartment