WASHINGTON, D.C. (WGHP) – Those concerned that national Democrats aren’t doing enough to support Senate candidate Cheri Beasley in North Carolina take note: Her campaign will get another big jolt of dollars from party leaders.
In the same week that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s political action committee launched a $4 million television ad campaign to address Republican Ted Budd’s position on abortion rights, the PAC announced it will spend another $4 million in TV ads during the final two weeks leading up to the Election on Nov. 8.
This will make roughly $15 million that Schumer’s PAC has invested in support of Beasley, a former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, who is in what the polls have shown to be a virtually dead-even race against Budd, a gun-shop owner from Advance who has represented the 13th Congressional District since 2016.
The winner will replace retiring Republican Richard Burr of Winston-Salem, and it’s a race Democrats see as key in their efforts to maintain control of the Senate. Libertarian Shannon Bray, a Department of Defense employee from Apex, and Green Party candidate Matthew Hoh, a retired State Department employee from Wake Forest, also are on the ballot, and early voting starts on Oct. 20.
This investment in Beasley helps offset concerns among Democrats that the national party has been spending more on races in other competitive states, such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona, Politico reported. Axios Raleigh analyzed campaign spending data last week and found that pro-Democratic groups have spent $7.8 million in North Carolina (vs. $34.9 million by Republicans), which is far less than any key Senate race but Ohio.
“Cheri Beasley’s strong campaign and record of independence, integrity, and protecting our constitutional freedoms has made this race more competitive by the day, which is why National Republicans are being forced to burn through precious resources to distract from Ted Budd’s extreme record,” JB Poersch, president of Senate Majority PAC, said in announcing the new ad campaign.
“Our latest investments will ensure that voters continue to see and hear the truth about Ted Budd’s self-serving agenda to benefit himself at North Carolina’s expense all the way through to Election Day.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been equally aggressive in his support of Budd, investing at least $3.4 million in ads to support Budd, and earlier McConnell entertained him along with other GOP candidates at a fundraiser in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
The ad that began appearing this week features Dr. Erica Pettigrew, a primary care physician from Chapel Hill, expressing
concern about Budd’s position on abortion rights. Budd long has opposed abortion and in September he signed on as a cosponsor of Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposed 15-week national abortion ban.
“I’m for protecting the lives of the unborn and mothers,” Budd said in his recent debate with Beasley. “I’ve always been for right to life. … She’s for abortion under any circumstances right up until birth. … She would support the ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’ … the most extreme legislation. I think this is a state issue. … But I would counter that [bill] federally.”
Although most voters have said inflation is the most important issue on this year’s ballot – and that is the key issue for Budd in his campaign – abortion emerged since the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade as a topic that polls suggest resonates with voters.
Senate Majority Pac in May had a $2.1 million TV ad campaign to defend Beasley against attacks, in early Augusta $700,000 campaign to target Budd on abortion and in September another $3 million campaign to address Budd’s record with farmers.
Veteran Republican operative Paul Schumacher said the ad campaign by Schumer’s PAC is the Democrats’ “trying to exploit that issue in order to fix their turnout problem. How well they fix their turnout problem is going to affect how well they do on election night. And right now they’re not doing a very good job of that.”