Democratic group spends $1.3M to help Beasley in NC

The Senate Majority PAC, a group supporting Democrats, launched an ad campaign to help U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley, who's being attacked by GOP groups.

Posted Updated

Paul Specht
, WRAL state government reporter

A major political action group is spending seven figures to bolster the Democrats’ U.S. Senate candidate in North Carolina.

The Senate Majority PAC on Monday said it launched a $1.3 million TV ad campaign in North Carolina to aid Cheri Beasley, who’s running to replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.

She’ll have to defeat U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, who won the GOP primary with help from outside spending by Club for Growth Action PAC. Club for Growth spent at least $12 million supporting Budd and attacking former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, the runner-up in the primary.

In 2020, North Carolina’s race between incumbent Republican Thom Tillis and Democrat Cal Cunningham was at one point the most expensive U.S. Senate race in the country. This year’s race is also expected to lure tens of millions of dollars in spending.

The Senate Majority PAC’s campaign comes in response to a $1 million attack ad campaign launched by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which alleges that Beasley “failed to protect” victims of crime.

Democrats have a loose grip on the Senate and are hoping to hold or improve their numbers in the November elections. Incumbent Republicans are retiring in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, improving Democrats’ odds of winning there.

Political polling and historical trends suggest a Republican advantage in the midterms.

North Carolina hasn’t elected a Democratic Senator since 2008, when the late Sen. Kay Hagan and Barack Obama both won the state.

Some Republicans speculated that big Democratic groups might overlook North Carolina, given that former President Donald Trump and Sen. Thom Tillis won the state in 2020.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced in April that it had reserved $33 million to spend on ads this fall in six states. North Carolina wasn’t among them.

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