The chattering classes in Raleigh and DC are already talking up a general election race between Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan. Never mind that all signs point to a GOP runoff in July and that the polls for the primary elections don’t close for another FOUR DAYS.
We’re getting all kinds of spin about how the GOP’s Mr. Inevitable is hitching up his big boy pants and focusing like a laser beam on his general election matchup with ol’ Kay. We’ve heard all about one poll showing a 26 point lead for Tillis, and another showing a 19 point lead. Then why is Theam Tillis STILL making name ID calls about the primary field?
I’ve heard from three different sources who confirmed they received calls from live pollsters apparently working for Thom Tillis YESTERDAY. Here’s what one source told me:
She told me she was going to name some candidates, and ask me how I feel about each one. Whether I am favorable, unfavorable, undecided, or have no opinion. She says ‘Thom Tillis’ first. I tell her ‘Unfavorable.’ She makes a disappointed sounding grunt. She goes on to say ‘Greg Brannon.’ I say ‘Favorable.’ She then says ‘Hmmmm.’ Then she says ‘Mark Harris.’ I say ‘Favorable.’ She then says,’What? Really?’ I then say ‘A-B-T.’ She asks me what I mean. I tell her ‘Anybody But Tillis.’ Needless to say, it really went downhill for her from there.”
That narrative pretty much reflects what I heard from the other two sources. The other thing that has me doubting this runaway winner theory is the sudden switch to attacking Greg Brannon. Theam Tillis sent out a mailer accusing Brannon of being a tax cheat — that even caused The Shih-Tzu to call BS. They’ve followed that up with a nasty mailer about a business dispute that didn’t go well for Brannon. Why do this if you truly are up 19 to 26 points on your rivals four days before the polls close?
Perhaps it’s because his standing with the voters isn’t really even close to that. Details of internal polling performed by campaigns in the primary — as well as by interested third parties — have been shared with me. Publicly-released polling shows Tillis with 46 percent and 39 percent of the vote. Private polls I’ve been briefed on show him — at best — with 27 percent. Publicly-released polling has shown an undecided group at anywhere from 20 to 35 percent. These internal polls have Undecided at the mid- to low-teens.
I know of two recent internal polls that show Tillis in third place behind Brannon and Harris.
What does all this tell you? It tells you to not to let the drive-bys and the establishment tell you it’s all over and you’re just going to have to accept Thom Tillis. Learn as much as you can about the issues and the candidates’ positions, then gather up your family and friends and head to the polls.
To quote Bluto from Animal House: “It ain’t over until we say it is!” Or at least until they close the doors at the polling stations Tuesday night.