Lavish North Carolina primary election spending surprises Meredith College political science expert

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — David McLennan is a professor of political science at Meredith College and director of the Meredith Poll. His take on Tuesday’s key results:

“We saw the US Senate race, Ted Budd had to win and had a pretty good margin. But we also saw Madison Cawthorn lose. And so if you look at what’s common between those two is that the two were Trump supporters. I was kind of surprised how much money was spent in a primary election. We saw not only candidates spending a lot of money. Your Senate race is about it. an example. But outside groups came in with a lot of money. And that’s not usually the norm in primary elections. They saved general elections. And I think the money had some influence.

He predicted higher advertising spending in the run-up to the general election:

“Oh, yeah, I’m thinking both with the US Senate race, but also other races like the Supreme Court race. They didn’t get a lot of prominence in the primary season, but we’ll see that the inexpensive race to congressional races, even some key legislative races are going to be very expensive races.”

On expert predictions that North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race will be the most expensive competition ever:

“The last few Senate races in North Carolina have broken records. And so I’d be surprised if this broke another record, though? I wouldn’t. Just because control of the Senate is at stake. So if the Democrats win a seat, they could potentially keep the Senate. If the Republicans keep the seat, it may help them get their chance. So when these kinds of things are in play, you see money coming in, and we let’s see.

He says the pending second-round status of the Wake County Sheriff’s Contest was no surprise:

“Only because of the number of candidates. I mean, it’s a relatively low-key race for a lot of voters. And I don’t think they knew much about any of the candidates. So we saw their votes spread. Again, in a short-ballot race, we see a lot of candidates, you’re more likely to see a run-off and I think that’s what we see.”

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