“There’s a lot of crap in politics,” observed the former governor of North Carolina. “I’m Pat McCrory and I approved this message.” The failed one-term executive from Charlotte, North Carolina has always had a predilection for rhetoric that, let us say, lowers the tone of public discourse in the state. He said Caitlin Jenner would have to use the men’s shower at UNC-Chapel Hill. He melodiously named off a list of towns ending in the suffix ‘boro: “Carrboro, Tarboro,” etc. This is not a Churchillian rhetorician.

But posing next to a computerized graphic of literal feces was a bit debased even for a man who was known to wear wrinkled shirts and no cravat at official gubernatorial events. McCrory is, plainly, desperate. In addition to a run of public polling revealing a race that now tilts decisively toward Ted Budd, the dynamics of McCrory’s Senate primary are brutal for the failed governor. His desperation to salvage what’s left of his political career has driven him into the realm of the scatological.

A brutal cascade of unfavorable polling has hit the McCrory campaign like a rock slide. First out of the gate was Emerson College, a well respect academic pollster, which found Congressman Ted Budd firmly in command of the Republican field. Art Pope’s John Locke Foundation followed with a poll showing Budd ahead of McCrory by 10 points. Note in this case that an outfit funded by McCrory’s own former state Budget Director and patron cannot deign to fudge the numbers in the ex-governor’s favor. And finally WRAL-Survey USA came out with a poll largely mirroring the Locke effort. Survey USA has one of the very best records polling in North Carolina.

The next five weeks coming before the Day of Judgment are likely to be painful for failed one-term governor Patrick Lloyd McCrory. That’s the case first and foremost because the Club for Growth plans to spend an additional $5 million attacking McCrory, a gigantic sum lumped on top of the $8 million dollars they have already unloaded on their nemesis. It’s the Club’s spending that drove McCrory down from a solid lead over his opponent Budd into negative territory. And they have more volleys still to come.

Pat McCrory really had no excuse for losing this primary. While the hardest of hardcore activists have always disliked and distrusted him, he had a fair amount of goodwill from ordinary Republicans. He was, after all, the only Republican governor of North Carolina to hold office in the last 30 years. Furthermore, his record was extremely conservative and he left office branded as the kind of cultural martyr to which right-wing evangelicals tend to thrill. His opponent, Ted Budd, was scarcely known outside the western Piedmont and McCrory had been perfectly loyal to Trump. But then came another Trump caprice, and an incursion into North Carolina airwaves of merciless attacks by a D.C. group that can attack with the best of them.

The end of Pat McCrory’s political career is in sight. He won’t be missed by the North Carolinians who rejected him in two gubernatorial elections.


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