Just a day after it was announced that his campaign manager had resigned, Bill Flynn is now out of the U.S. Senate race. Flynn cited problems with fundraising for his decision to drop out. This news means that we are now down to ‘only’ six candidates in the Republican primary.
Flynn never had a real chance of taking off and winning the nomination, but he polled strongly in the Piedmont Triad, where voters know him from his radio show. If Flynn’s withdrawal has any effect on the race, it will be mostly concentrated to that area. Because Flynn identified as a Tea Partier, it is likely that his withdrawal will benefit primarily the campaigns of Greg Brannon and Mark Harris.
But it might also benefit Tillis. One less candidate makes it mathematically more likely that he can break 40% and prevent a potentially costly and divisive runoff. That will help boost the party’s prospects against Kay Hagan in November, which of course has huge implications for which party will control the U.S. Senate. In this race, every little development counts and could prove hugely consequential for the future of our country.
In other news – Civitas polling shows a dead-heat on the generic legislative ballot. At this point, 39% say they would support a generic Republican candidate, 39% say they would support a generic Democratic candidate. This mirrors PPP’s findings from a couple weeks ago, which showed Republicans with a tiny 1-point lead. Democrats could still make decent-sized gains in the legislature this year, but they will need a strong organization, money, and an effective communication strategy to make it happen. Despite a year of frantic media coverage concerning the Republican legislature, there has yet been any significant backlash. Democrats should ask why that is, and what they can do about it, if anything.