RALEIGH – Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Thom Tillis and Democrat challenger Cal Cunningham will hold their second televised debate Tuesday evening from a studio in Raleigh.
In their first debate the candidates sparred over the federal response to COVID-19, drawing some distinction between a Pandemic Panic policy the Left has embraced, and a (relatively) more measured response from the Trump administration and Republicans in congress.
This time around the candidates will likely sound off on the new pressing issue regarding the filling of a Supreme Court vacancy as a result of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Predictably, while the Republicans in control of the Senate and the White House are moving forward with nominating and confirming a new justice, the Democrats have been manifesting an Oscar-worthy performance of righteous indignation at that very prospect.
Laughably, some Democrats in congress have even suggested Trump be impeached (again) if he puts up a nominee to fill the seat. Will Cunningham echo this lunacy? He really cannot afford to do anything else but follow the party line.
The same is true for Tillis, who has always embraced North Carolina as a ‘Purple State,’ but makes sure he is aligned, at least superficially, with the base come election time.
Unfortunately for all the primary voters that were virtually salivating over the chance to oust the unpopular Tillis in the primary, are now faced with a pretty straight forward choice: elect a Republican and help keep the Senate, or send Cunningham to potentially back up Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer come 2021.
That this cohort could be the target audience for tonight’s debate. Recent polling puts Cunningham ahead by about 5 points, with 8 percent undecided. With the race close, but ‘undecideds’ dwindling, turning out the base could be the focus.
That’s a harder sell for Tillis, being the least popular incumbent senator in the country for a while. Helping Tillis with the base is his late bear hug of, and endorsement from President Donald Trump. Tillis appeared with Trump at a rally this past weekend.
Still, both candidates will still try to sell themselves to the ‘independent voters’ they think they’ll need for victory on election day as well.