Follow #DTHprimary on Twitter for live-tweet updates on tonight’s primary elections. You can also go to dailytarheel.com for a feed of tweets. In-depth profiles of each U.S. Senate candidate can be found at the bottom of this post.
Tonight’s primary will prove to be a crowded affair, with 13 candidates vying for their parties’ nominations in the U.S. Senate and many more competing for positions in the U.S. House of Representatives and state government positions.
Eight candidates in the Republican party alone are competing to unseat incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), who has two members of her own party running against her.
This U.S. Senate race is one of the most expensive in the country, leaving those who can’t pull off millions of dollars in funding in the dust.
Hagan has seen her favorability drop in the past six months, especially after the healthcare.gov controversy and President Barack Obama’s consequent drop in approval.
Still, Hagan has more campaign finances than any other candidate, with more than $13 million under her belt, according to Open Secrets, a national research group that tracks election funds. Tillis has only raised slightly more than $3 million.
Thom Tillis, N.C. Speaker of the House, is the GOP favorite to unseat Hagan, and he received Gov. Pat McCrory’s endorsement last week.
After tying in the polls with Greg Brannon for several weeks, Tillis brought up his numbers with increased political campaigning, according to a poll from left-leaning Public Policy Polling which has Tillis polling at 40 percent and Brannon at 28 percent.
Tillis needs to get 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff, which could prove difficult since Brannon and Mark Harris’ numbers have gone up in the past week, according to PPP.
A runoff could be fracturing to the Republican party, potentially tipping the scales in the Democrats’ favor come November.
Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives has nine Republicans and two Democrats competing to replace 15-term Rep. Howard Coble (D-N.C.), who retired in November.
Also tonight are elections for one seat in the N.C. House of Representatives, held by Rep. Graig Meyer (D-N.C.). Two Republicans are vying to take his seat, and he is unopposed in the Democrat primary.
The Daily Tar Heel is sending reporters to Tillis’ party in Charlotte, Brannon’s in Raleigh, and the Orange County Republicans’ headquarters in Hillsborough.
Neither Hagan nor Orange County democrats are having parties.
You can follow our live-tweeting starting at 6:30 p.m. from watch parties across the state using #DTHprimary until the results are in.
Check back at dailytarheel.com for continued updates and coverage.
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