The latest private polling apparently shows George Holding with a huge lead over Renee Ellmers in the battle to be the Republican nominee for the 2nd congressional district. We could see the real fight being the battle for second place: Brannon vs. Ellmers. Greg Brannon has run statewide twice before and has name recognition in the Southern Wake County area. As for Ellmers, she has quite a few hurdles, including:
*Conservative groups like AFP
*General discontent with Ellmers
The attacks against Holding, on the other hand, are fairly weak. The first is that he voted against the farm bill – which conservatives view as a food stamp bill. The second is Ellmers’ attempt to depict him as a candidate of big money and big lobbyists, “part of the problem in Washington.” The problem with that is that most conservatives see Ellmers as the problem, and if they didn’t think so before, the big money behind the anti-Ellmers effort will convince them otherwise.
That brings us to Greg Brannon. He’s the king of second-place finishes, from his second-place finish to Thom Tillis back in 2014 to his second-place finish to Richard Burr just two months ago. He did pretty well within the borders of the 2nd back in March, so I wouldn’t discount his chances at being the runner-up this time around too.
Maybe I’m wrong, and I’d be shocked, but I don’t think there’s a path to victory for Congresswoman Ellmers. Eventually, there comes a point in a campaign where there’s just too much against you to be successful, and I think we’ve reached that point in the Second District. Ellmers will get swamped on June 7th. At this point, I think she has a better chance of getting third than she does of winning.
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.