Election /

Democrats Increase Spending in North Carolina Senate Race as Republican Maintains Lead

There are three weeks left before Election Day

Democrats are renewing efforts to claim the North Carolina seat that will be vacated by Senator Richard Burr, who is retiring at the end of his current term.

With three weeks left until election day, North Carolina’s Senate race is receiving more attention and financial support from Democrats and Democratic interest groups. 

The race sets former state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley, the Democratic nominee, against Republican Congressman Ted Budd. Although candidates have been within 2% of one another in the polls, Budd has begun to steadily take the lead. A recent poll from East Carolina University found the gun shop owner leads Beasley 50% to 44% — a 3% increase from September.

Beasley has campaigned on protecting abortion access, making health care more affordable, and supporting environmental initiatives. 

Prominent federal Democrats are now campaigning for Beasley in an effort to increase her support among voters. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Representative James Clyburn will both appear at campaign events this week, according to The Hill.

The Senate Majority PAC announced it will spend an additional $8 million on the race – having already spent approximately $15 million on Beasey’s race, reports ABC News. The PAC is aligned with Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York. Of this additional spending, $4 million have been used for ads in an effort to convert the current Republican seat into a Democratic win. The ad campaign attacks Budd for his stance on abortion.

Budd has served three terms in Congress and represents the 13th Congressional District. He is a member of the Freedom Caucus and has focused on inflation, rising crime rates, and the southern border crisis during this election bid.

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Budd in early June. Trump also supported Budd in 2018 and 2020.

The Senate Leadership Fund, which supports Republicans like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has spent $20 million to aid Budd’s senate bid, according to the Associated Press.

Beasley has out-fundraised Budd $29 million to $11 million. Newsweek has noted that over 50% of her funding has come from outside of North Carolina. The Democrat has received support from Planned Parenthood, which has spent $5 million on midterm races in the state.

Politico notes that voter registration in North Carolina “is roughly evenly split among Republicans, Democrats and independents” which adds to the state’s battleground status.

Currently, the United States Senate is evenly divided into 50 senators from each major political party. Vice President Kamala Harris serves as the tie-breaking vote.

In total, 35 Senate seats are up for election this year. Fourteen are currently held by Democrats and 21 are currently held by Republicans.

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