HENDERSONVILLE, North Carolina—Rep. Ted Budd (R) swept to victory in the North Carolina Republican primary for the U.S. Senate on May 17.
With 45 percent of the precincts reporting, Decision Desk HQ projected Budd as the winner with 56.5 percent of the vote at 7:56 p.m.
Budd, a firebrand conservative whose campaign focused on fighting the ideological left, scored an endorsement from former president Donald Trump. His platform included fighting corruption from Big Tech companies, creating jobs, stopping socialism, and letting parents control their child’s education.
McCrory, a former North Carolina governor, built his campaign on his past political successes. He ran on a conservative platform including lower taxes, pro-life policies, support for police, stronger election security, and defending constitutional rights to Congress.
Budd’s win was a victory for the power of Trump’s endorsements to shape the future of the Republican Party. As the 2022 midterms approached, Trump played the role of kingmaker, lending his endorsement to many Republican candidates.
Often, a candidate’s support for Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged played a key role in whether the president chose to lend his endorsement.
Both McCrory and Budd ran a race filled with attack ads. It remains to be seen whether the mud slung will slow Budd in the general election race against Cheri Beasley, the Democratic primary winner.
Beasley, a former North Carolina Supreme Court judge, had a big advantage going into the general election. Beasley’s opponent, state senator Jeff Jackson, dropped out of the race and offered her his endorsement.
As of May 17, Beasley has raised $9.6 million in campaign funds compared to Budd’s $4.5 million.
On policy, Beasley’s campaign supports Obamacare, gun control, citizenship for illegal immigrants, a higher minimum wage, cutting 50 percent of carbon emissions in the next eight years, higher restrictions on police use of force, and nationwide abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy.
Sen. Richard Burr won the North Carolina seat in 2016 as an incumbent by 5.7 percentage points.