North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) focused Tuesday night’s debate at Davidson College on attacking Sen. Kay Hagan (D) and Obamacare, while physician Greg Brannon (R) used the platform to differentiate from Tillis in the crowded primary. American Crossroads-backed Tillis has a strong lead on the rest of the pack, but so far not enough to reach the 40 percent necessary to avoid a runoff.
Starting with the first question, Brannon slammed Tillis as weak on issues including Obamacare and Common Core. The two sparred heatedly over gun control issues, while pastor Mark Harris (R) and nurse Heather Grant (R) stayed mostly above the fray. Tillis called the group “all good conservatives.”
Missing from the debate was any mention of the controversy over Tillis’s former staffers, who his campaign says were “forced” to resign after inappropriate relationships with lobbyists. He doubled down on that claim following the debate. (The Charlotte Observer)
HAGAN HANGING ON. A New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds Hagan polling just slightly ahead of Tillis, 42% to 40% with 12% undecided. Against Brannon, the results were similar, with Hagan up 41% to 39%, 14% undecided. Hagan’s approval and disapproval numbers were both at 44% (April 8-15, 900 RVs, +/- 4.0%). (release)
AT A CROSSROADS. American Crossroads is up with a new ad touting Tillis as a true conservative and proven tax cutter. It doesn’t directly mention Hagan and Senate Majority PAC’s ads regarding the staffers, but says Democrats will “say anything” to stop Tillis.