Today, Talkers Magazine, the talk radio show trade journal, reported that former North Carolina Governor and morning drive talk show host Pat McCrory told his WBT-AM/FM, listeners that he's leaving the Charlotte radio gig to run for the Senate seat that Richard Burr is giving up next year. On the air this morning, he said "I’m in. I’m in. I’m going to run for the U.S. Senate because I’m simply the best for the job. Of all the candidates that are considering to run for the U.S. Senate-- Republicans and Democrats-- I am the best for the job, and if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t run." It's early, but most North Carolinians do not agree. In fact most Republicans do not agree either.
He also read a canned statement that every Republican candidate will make: "We need someone from outside Washington, D.C., to help solve Washington problems. We need North Carolina solutions in Washington because we know how to solve problems here in North Carolina. From the coast to the Piedmont, all the way to the mountains, I know the state and I know its people."
The 64-year-old McCrory was mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009, served as governor for one tumultuous term and was defeated for re-election in 2016 by Democrat Roy Cooper, despite Trump winning the state on the same day. Cooper out-performed Hillary and McCrory under-performed Trump:
Trump- 2,339,603 (50.5%), Hillary- 2,162,074 (46.7%)
McCrory- 2,276,383 (48.9%), Cooper- 2,281,155 (49.0%)
A new poll released yesterday by Cygnal, shows Trump's daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump, with a double-digit lead over a crowded field of current and potential Senate primary candidates:
Lara Trump- 32.4%
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson- 20.1%
former lt Gov Dan Forest- 12.7%
former far right congressman Mark Walker- 3.0%
former far right congressman Ted Budd- below the margin error
The Hill reported that "Of all the candidates included in the poll, Lara Trump scored the highest net favorability rating, as well, coming in at 66.6 percent. Forest placed second on that front at 64 percent net favorability. Robinson was the only other potential candidate to score above 50 percent net favorability." 34% of those polled said they believe Lara is the Republican most capable of winning the 2022 general election against the eventual Democratic Senate nominee, compared with about 20% who chose Robinson and just 15% who picked McCrory.
Conservative voters in North Carolina are still dazed and confused. 86% have a favorable opinion of Trump. When asked whether they consider themselves to be more a supporter of Trump ormore a supporter of the Republican Party, 54.7% said they were more loyal to Trump and to the party. McCrory begged Trump for a job in his administration and Trump, who considers him a loser, turned him down flat.
McCrory is best known for his divisive bathroom bill and his obsessive anti-LBGTQ mania. McCrory was also famous for being one of the few governors in the country to refuse to expand Medicaid, costing the state's residents immense amount in healthcare costs. Another big example of his disdain for working families was his decision to cut unemployment benefits, as well as putting in a toll road instead of a free highway in Mecklenburg County. His Jim Crow voter suppression bill against African-Americans was overturned in the courts for blatant racism.
This morning, the chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, Bobbie Richardson, said "North Carolinians remember exactly who Pat McCrory is-- a failed politician who signed hateful and divisive legislation into law, hurt our national reputation, and damaged our state’s economy. North Carolinians voted him out of office in 2016 because of that failed record. We have some free advice-- don’t quit your day job, Pat."
We also asked Erica Smith, the progressive former state Senator endorsed by Blue America, what she thinks about McCrory jumping into the race. If you like what she has to say below, please consider clicking on the 2022 Senate thermometer above. The imagine is a live link and will bring you to the Blue America ActBlue candidates page for Senate candidates. Erica is running a grassroots-- no corporate donors-- campaign and she sure could use some financial help.
"Duke Energy’s very own Pat McCrory has decided to enter the U.S. Senate race here in North Carolina," she said this morning after his announcement. "As Governor, Pat McCrory made North Carolina a national embarrassment with his bathroom bill. He made a career out of focusing on wedge issues at the expense of our wages, our healthcare, our infrastructure, and our teachers. North Carolina needs and deserves a Senator who’ll fight for our common interests, not work to divide us. His record of cutting unemployment and fighting against the expansion of Medicaid while fighting for voter suppression laws and tax cuts for the wealthy could not be more out of touch with the moment. He’s incompetent and he’s disillusioned if he thinks he’s going to be our next Senator. North Carolina voters have rejected him before and they’ll reject him again. We will stand united in the fight against income inequality and the climate crisis and we will not allow ourselves to be distracted by his bigotry while he cashes in favors for his corporate backers. I’ve taken on Duke Energy before and I’ll take on their henchman now. We are so much better than Pat McCrory."