U.S. Sen. Tillis of North Carolina Underwater Among Republican Primary Voters, Poll Says


New polling shows U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) in serious trouble from a primary challenge by businessman Garland Tucker.

A new poll by Public Policy Polling shows a weak Tillis and his GOP challenger Tucker in striking distance. In just three months, Tucker, who has never run for office, is barely outside the margin of error on an incumbent senator – who is underwater among GOP primary voters.

The PPP poll is available here.

One finding was:

If the Republican candidates for US Senate next year were Thom Tillis and Garland Tucker, who would you vote for?

Thom Tillis ……………………………………………… 38%

Garland Tucker ……………………………………….. 31%

Undecided………………………………………………. 31%

Tillis has an underwater favorability with GOP primary voters at 34/38, PPP said. Tucker’s is 28/12 with 60 percent having no opinion about him.

The PPP poll confirms the findings of a Tucker campaign poll in July.

Tucker wrote an op-ed in August for The American Spectator taking Republicans in Congress to task for failing to control spending. Here is an excerpt:

In just five years, the federal debt has exploded from $16 trillion to over $22 trillion. While President Trump’s tax reform legislation has succeeded in unleashing substantial economic growth, Congress has shown absolutely no backbone in controlling federal spending.

In economic terms, we are perched atop a ticking time bomb. Deep down, American voters agree with Ben Stein’s father, Herbert Stein: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” Yet Congress has refused to reduce spending. Why? Because voters have too often elected candidates who ran as conservatives but lacked the backbone to say “no” to spending.

Tucker is a business executive, historian and author of “Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaders Who Shaped America, from Jefferson to Reagan.”

Meanwhile, Tillis has a rating of only 38 percent “Conservative” over a six-year term by Conservative Review, meaning 62 percent of his votes are “Liberal.” The scorecard is here.

Most recently, he drew criticism for his to against a measure to “Suspend the debt ceiling, cancel the budget caps, and increase spending by $321 billion.

With this vote on the Bipartisan Budget Act, Congress undid the only successful limitation on government spending of the last decade, and it was undone under a Republican president with a GOP Senate majority.

Tucker launched his first campaign ad in May attacking Tillis on spending, such as opposing President Donald Trump’s effort to cut foreign aid, as well as immigration, the News Observer said.

The ad is available here.

“What Congress needs is backbone,” Tucker said.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.






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3 Thoughts to “U.S. Sen. Tillis of North Carolina Underwater Among Republican Primary Voters, Poll Says”

  1. Tillis, among a few others, like Rubio, has been a huge disappointment. He rode the coattails of the Tea Party, and has been anything but. He is one of many that need to go, but we need to replace them with actual conservatives.

  2. Stuart I. Anderson

    Sure wish we had someone with conservative credentials here in Tennessee to run for the Senate in what is now a Hobson’s Choice Election between centrist Hagerty and No Record Candidate Sethi.

  3. Silence Dogood

    And the Trump tidal wave continues.