Millions spent on North Carolina race to replace Sen. Burr

Democrat Beasley out raises Republican Budd, but outside spending remains in Budd’s favor
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 3:22 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The race for North Carolina’s soon-to-be open U.S. Senate seat is a dead heat according to polling averages. Candidates are now reporting updated fundraising numbers to the federal government. Democrat Cheri Beasley continues to out-raise her Republican opponent, Congressman Ted Budd.

Sarah Bryner, the Director of Research and Strategy at OpenSecrets, said, “fundraising in North Carolina is pretty significant this cycle.” The rule of thumb has been, the candidate with better fundraising numbers is usually the winner.

Federal Elections Commission data shows Cheri Beasley has raised more than $29 million, while Congressman Ted Budd has raised more than $11 million.

But OpenSecrets’ data shows that more than $32 million has been spent against Beasley by outside groups. Compare that to less than $10 million spent against Budd. When it comes to dollars raised to support the candidates, $17 million has gone to Congressman Budd, while less than $4 million in outside spending backs Beasley.

Bryner says Budd has seen more outside money spent in his favor than he has directly raised.

“It’s critical to incorporate analysis of this super PAC spending when you’re looking at spending because if you were to ignore it it would sort of look as though Beasley is going to walk away with it from a fundraising landscape,” Bryner said. “And that isn’t the case at all once you include the outside spending.”

The Washington Post reports that Beasley’s political allies are worried she’s not getting enough outside help. The paper also reports that the national Democratic strategy is to defend incumbents first, then focus on flipping seats in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Those are the only two Republican-held Senate seats that the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates as toss ups. The organization rates the North Carolina race as leaning Republican.