GOP midterm primary different than previous
Posted May 5
Updated May 6
Raleigh, N.C. — For David McLennan, the debates between Republican candidates hoping to unseat incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan have been pretty cordial.
“It hasn’t been as confrontational as I thought it would be,” said the William Peace University political science professor.
Or not, if looking at negative television ads funded by millions in outside political action committee money.
“Over a million dollars spent in the Supreme Court primary, most of that spent attacking Robin Hudson, that is unprecedented in North Carolina,” he said.
McLennan believes a key question in the Republican Senate primary, which is being watched nationwide, is whether N.C. Speaker of the House Thom Tillis can gain the 40 percent of votes needed to avoid a runoff against GOP rivals Heather Grant,Mark Harris, and Greg Brannon.
“Thom Tillis might be able to get over that threshold and go right into the general election against Kay Hagan,” he said.
Early voter turnout has exceeded early voting for the 2010 midterm elections, which McLennan sees as primary cause and effect.
“Outside money creating negativity in the campaign, which always creates interest in the campaign,” he said.
Polls open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. Aside from judicial races, primary voters must choose a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian ballot.
Voters will be asked if they have photo identification, but won't be required to show it until 2016.