• 72°

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

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide