2022 North Carolina Senate Primary Polls: Trump Endorsed Ted Budd Ahead in GOP Primary Race
North Carolina has been a white whale for Democrats since their last federal victory in 2008. Once a toss-up swing state, the GOP has had a significant advantage in state and federal politics since the tea party movement of 2010 despite winning by single-digit margins most of those elections.
Governor Roy Cooper (D) has been one to buck that trend, winning in 2016 in the wake of the famous North Carolina bathroom bill debacle and again in 2020 by 4.4% off of a strong performance year by Democrats. However, in that same year, they failed to win the Presidential & Senatorial elections or a majority in either state legislative body.
Now in 2022, Republicans are looking to continue the trend by winning a seat vacated by Senator Richard Burr (R) that will be necessary to retake control of the 50-50 Senate. This opportunity has attracted plenty of candidates; however, only a few have the name recognition and local sway to be considered serious contenders for the nomination.
2022 North Carolina Senate Primary Polls: GOP Primary Polls
Amongst the top in name recognition and in money is former Governor Pat McCrory, who was ousted as a result of the enactment of the bathroom bill earlier mentioned. From there are two US Representatives from North Carolina, Tedd Budd and Mark Walker.
Early polling indicates that former Governor McCrory has a significant advantage over the other two candidates. Cygnal, a Republican-oriented polling firm, surveyed likely Republican voters in January 2022 finding that McRory had a significant lead. Although, half of voters remain undecided which leaves a significant amount of potential for the primary to shift.
Topic 1: Cygnal Survey of Likely Republican Voters (Jan ‘22)
Perhaps another interesting factor in the campaign is President Trump’s recent endorsement of Representative Tedd Budd, especially given that he has significant sway over internal GOP politics. This may explain his significant showing despite being a regional politician, being second only to a former power of state politics in Pat McCrory.
2022 North Carolina Senate Primary Polls: Google Trends
Google Trends shows a significant interest advantage in Ted Budd throughout the entirety of the past year, with the other candidates falling behind in interest especially in the previous month.
In the North Central part of the state, there has been a significant spike in interest for Representative Mark Walker. This could be highly influential and compound for him if he is able to leverage that interest into significant endorsements from local politicians. However, it appears that he will fall behind Representative Budd and former Governor McCrory was given his lack of statewide influence, a significant endorsement, or significant funds to compete with the other two.
2022 North Carolina Senate Primary Polls: Will Trump’s Endorsement Help Ted Budd?
It will be interesting to see how President Trump’s endorsed Representative Budd will compete with a former juggernaut in state politics. Trump’s endorsement has been a great help to many candidates, but in some states it appears to be losing its luster.
In Texas, Representative Jake Ellsy was able to overcome the Trump endorsed candidate through a significant local following and long-term investment in local politics. Depending on the outcome in North Carolina, it could be a significant blow to Trump’s influence in internal party politics if McCrory is able to overcome and become the nominee. Although, he will likely remain incredibly influential amongst GOP voters for the foreseeable future regardless of the outcome.