RALEIGH: GOP wants a winner Tuesday in Senate primary - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

GOP wants a winner Tuesday in Senate primary

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

The Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate have debated and campaigned and the election is nearly here.

And David McLennan, a political science professor at William Peace University, said the Republicans want the race to end on Tuesday. Tuesday’s primary will decide if there is a run-off, or a clear Republican challenger to Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.

“They don’t want a run-off,” McLennan said. “It means six weeks more campaigning of Republican on Republican. It means spending money that could be spent on the general election.”

An April 29 poll from Public Policy Polling in Raleigh has Speaker of the House Thom Tillis pulling away from the field.

The PPP poll gave Tillis 46 percent of the Republican vote, to 20 percent for Dr. Greg Brannon, 11 percent for Mark Harris and 5 percent for Heather Grant.

A candidate needs more than 40 percent of the vote to avoid a run-off.

For many North Carolinians, the primary is not on their minds.

Paul Chancey of Cary, for example, didn’t know the primary was Tuesday. And Sunny Lin of Raleigh knew the primary was coming up but didn’t realize Tuesday was the day.

But the candidates, of course, are well aware what is at stake on Tuesday. And that 40 percent number is front and center for Tillis.

“He’s running the general election campaign even during the primary campaign, which is usually the sign of a front-runner,” McLennan said.

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