North Carolina’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race is among the seven nationwide that are most likely to see a partisan “flip,” according to a report Monday in The Hill.
“Seven weeks before Election Day, Senate races in closely watched swing states remain tight, but a clearer picture is beginning to emerge of the landscape heading into the final midterm sprint,” wrote Washington, D.C.-based staff writer Caroline Vakil.
Democrats and Republicans each control 50 Senate seats now, with Democrats running the chamber because of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote. Of the 35 seats up for election this fall, Republicans are defending 21 and Democrats 14. A net gain of one seat for Republicans would shift control of the upper chamber in Congress to the GOP.
Vakil does not rank her seven chosen Senate contests. She doesn’t list them alphabetically, either. The N.C. contest appears sixth on The Hill’s list, behind races in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Arizona’s Senate race takes up the last spot on the list.
In North Carolina, Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd are competing for a set left open by the retirement of three-term Republican incumbent Richard Burr. A partisan “flip” would mean a win for the Democrat Beasley.
“Budd has the backing of big GOP names like Trump, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and was among more than 140 House members who voted to overturn the 2020 election results,” Vakil reports. “Beasley is a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court and former public defender.”
“A Civiqs poll … showed Beasley leading Budd 49 percent to 48 percent among likely voters, but it falls within the poll’s margin of error,” The Hill article added.
Vakil relies on analysis from Democratic strategist Jon Reinish, a former aide to New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
“Reinish said Beasley could have a pathway to victory if she turns out voters the way Obama did in 2008 when he won the state by less than a percentage point, noting ‘Democrats have not had that sophisticated of a turnout machine really since then,’” Vakil reports.
If each of the races spotlighted by The Hill “flips,” Democrats would gain one seat and maintain Senate control.
The Hill article arrived one day after liberal media outlet Vox reported that Republicans have the advantage in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race. In Vox’s analysis of “The 10 races that could decide Senate control,” Democrats lead in four states (Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Arizona), Republicans hold the edge in three (Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio), with races in Georgia, Nevada, and Wisconsin labeled toss-ups.
Early voting in North Carolina begins Oct. 20. Election Day is Nov. 8.