• 77°

Cunningham outraises Tillis, enters October with less cash

By Bryan Anderson
Associated Press/Report for America

RALEIGH — North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis has entered the home stretch of his competitive and costly re-election bid with nearly $2.4 million more cash on hand than Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission on Thursday.

But in the period from July 1 to Sept. 30, Cunningham raised far more money than Tillis, raking in more than $28.3 million. Tillis raised less than one-fourth of that, bringing in less than $6.6 million over the same period of time.

According to Advertising Analytics, a company that tracks political television ad spending, North Carolina’s Senate contest this year is the most expensive Senate race ever, with more than $242 million spent on ads. According to Kantar Media, the campaigns and outside groups have flooded the broadcast airwaves with tens of millions of dollars dedicated to reaching voters in the Raleigh and Charlotte areas.

The flurry of donations and spending comes as Democrats hope a Cunningham win will prompt the GOP to lose its Senate majority — a majority that has been used to reshape the courts, including the confirmation of two Supreme Court justices and a likely third under President Donald Trump.

A New York Times/Siena College poll of likely North Carolina voters showed Cunningham and Tillis in a close race. Cunningham’s 4-point lead was within the margin of error of 4.5 percentage points. Of the 627 people surveyed between Oct. 9 and Oct. 13, Cunningham got 41% support, Tillis got 37% support and 15% were undecided.

The race was shaken up earlier this month after Cunningham confirmed on Oct. 2 that he sent romantic messages to Arlene Guzman Todd, a public relations strategist. The California woman told The Associated Press she had an intimate encounter this summer with Cunningham, who is married and has two teenage kids.

In text messages to her friend, Guzman Todd said she was physically intimate with Cunningham in his Raleigh home in July. Shortly after the revelations, the U.S. Army confirmed it opened an investigation into the matter.

During an Oct. 9 news conference conducted virtually, Cunningham on four occasions declined to answer reporter questions about whether other affairs could surface.

Hours before Cunningham confirmed he sent romantic text messages to Guzman Todd, Tillis announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Cunningham has committed to remaining in the race and is hoping voters will see past his personal life, while Tillis is aligning himself closely with Trump and pushing for the confirmation of the president’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Comments

BREAKING NEWS

Appeals court reverses Salisbury man’s 2018 hit, run conviction

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man served with warrant, charged with cocaine possession

Elections

GOP to high court: Move up North Carolina absentee deadline

Education

Friends of Rowan Public Library to hold annual book sale

Local

Pastoral appreciation event to celebrate Rev. Nilous Avery

Crime

Kannapolis man faces felony charges for injuring officers, fleeing traffic stop

Local

Buck Steam Station’s new recycling unit now processing coal ash

Elections

Election 2020: Ford, Ellis talk racial injustice issues; tout qualifications for Senate race

Business

Halfway point: United Way announces 50% progress toward fundraising goal

News

City moves forward with loan program for women, minority business owners

Education

Science, religion collide for annual Hood Theological Seminary fall conference

News

Sheriff’s Office accepts Shop with a Cop applications

Education

North Hills seniors are leaving their marks

Education

Education briefs: New director named at seminary’s Congregational Faith and Learning Center

Education

Rowan County Early College enrollment opens for 2021-2022 school year

East Spencer

East Spencer board rejects tiny house idea

News

Court lets North Carolina keep absentee deadline extension

News

North Carolina scrambles to inform voters of absentee errors

Coronavirus

Rowan County adds 24 new COVID-19 cases; state remains paused in phase three

Crime

Blotter: Oct. 22

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two deputies injured, suspect shot during chase on U.S. 601

Education

One speaks, two write to oppose Enochville Elementary closure

Local

City partners with Rowan Helping Ministries to establish donation-driven utilities assistance program

Elections

Board of Elections continues counting absentee ballots, resumes ‘curing’ deficient ones