United States Elections

2020 North Carolina Senate Race Preview

2 Mins read
2020 North Carolina Senate Race

Here’s where we give you our quick thoughts on the 2020 North Carolina Senate race.

This is a nasty tiff between Republican incumbent Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham. So important is this race that we feel its outcome could determine who has the majority in the US Senate in January. If the Republicans win, perhaps also pulling off a miraculous save or two elsewhere, Mitch McConnell may remain Senate majority leader. Should Cunningham emerge victorious, the Democrats probably find a way to 50 or 51 seats.

North Carolina is a swing state on almost every level. The Senate race is one that is obvious: Tillis and Cunningham are locked in a tight race, Tillis won a tight race six years ago over Kay Hagan, and Hagan beat Elizabeth Dole six years before that with less than 53 percent of the vote. It is not typical these days for a candidate to win a North Carolina statewide race by a lot, particularly if it is a race that is drawing national attention. For example, the 2016 gubernatorial election got a lot of play because of the “Bathroom Bill,” and ended up being a nailbiter. Further, the last three presidential elections in North Carolina have come down to margins of under four percent. Now, perhaps, you can see why the 2020 North Carolina Senate race is so hotly contested.

After our two-minute video, you will know more about the state of the race and where each candidate needs to do well on election night.

The 2020 North Carolina Senate Race in 2 Minutes

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2020 Candidates for North Carolina US Senate

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Thom Tillis (R)Incumbent US Senator (2015-)
Cal Cunningham (D)Former state senator (2001-2003)
Kevin Hayes (Const.)NC Constitution Party Vice Chairman
Shannon Bray (Lbt.)Veteran

The Bottom Line: North Carolina Senate Race 2020

Thom Tillis is not out of the race, but he is behind, if you believe every opinion poll. This is in spite of the revelations against Cal Cunningham, which do not appear to have moved the needle all that much. Some, perhaps, but Tillis has a deficit to close at this point in the campaign.

The presidential race may differ from the Senate race, and the gubernatorial race may differ from both in North Carolina. Roy Cooper is most likely going to run ahead of everyone in the Tar Heel State, but when it comes to Donald Trump and Thom Tillis, both could win, neither could win, or one could win. All scenarios are still in play in this very crucial state.

The current Electionarium prediction is a Democratic gain (weak lean). You can see how this stacks up against the rest of the Senate races at our 2020 US Senate page.

OTHER 2020 RACE PREVIEWS: Arizona US Senate | Maine US Senate | Nebraska-02 US House | South Carolina US Senate | Virginia-07 US House

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