Populism vs. pragmatism underpins North Carolina Senate primary

Election Security Vendors
Posted at 9:06 PM, Feb 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-22 21:07:17-05

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Voters seeking to take back a U.S. Senate seat in closely divided North Carolina must choose whether liberal populism or centrist pragmatism is best suited to unseat Republican incumbent Thom Tillis.

Next month’s Democratic Senate primary has some parallels to the party's presidential race, since voters are trying to decide which candidate and philosophy can beat the Republican incumbent.

The leading candidates in the five-person race are ex-state legislator Cal Cunningham and current state Sen. Erica Smith. Cunningham and his allies are outspending Smith, but a PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is meddling in the race with ads boosting Smith's name.