Poll: A Tillis collapse


The Garland Tucker campaign has released internal polling showing that Thom Tillis is undergoing  a “spectacular” collapse in support among Republican voters:


You see it once every thirty or forty years in politics: An incumbent Senator collapsing in his own primary.


Garland Tucker announced in May. Months earlier he had taken a poll and, after airing TV ads in May, June and July, he polled again. The poll, a random sample of 500 people who vote in the Republican Primaries, was done by Diversified Research which was founded by the late Arthur Finklestein who polled for North Carolina Senators Jesse Helms, John East and Lauch Faircloth.


The ballot question tells the story of what happened to Thom Tillis.


Ballot: In the campaign’s first poll, taken before Thom Tillis flip-flopped on President Trump’s Border Emergency Declaration and when Garland Tucker was unknown, Tillis led then by 56 points. In the July poll Tillis’ world turned upside down:


1st Poll July Poll +/-
Garland Tucker 7 30 +23
Thom Tillis 63 40 -23
Undecided 30 30 0


Tillis plummeted by 46 plus points, ending up with only 40% of the Republican Primary voters supporting him – a thin number for an incumbent Senator.



Worse for Tillis, he now only leads Garland Tucker by 10 points with 30% of the voters Undecided. There’s a long history that shows, in a campaign between an incumbent like Tillis and lesser-known challenger, Undecided voters usually break against the incumbent by 2 to 1.



Some other key findings:


  • 82% of the voters (in a Republican Primary) are Conservative and 58% are Very Conservative.
  • Voters now view Thom Tillis as more Liberal/Moderate (by 17 points) and as Less Conservative (by 12 points) – a net change of 29 points.
  • Thom Tillis’ Favorable rating dropped 20 points and his Unfavorable rose 22 points, a net drop in Tillis’ popularity of 42 points, almost the same as his drop on the ballot (of 46 points). A Republican Senator with a 30% Unfavorable among Republicans is a stunning negative.


  • Garland Tucker was largely unknown in the first poll. In the second poll his ‘Hard’ name identification increased by 20 points and the percent of voters who’d never heard of him dropped by 20 points.
  • When President Trump endorsed Tillis voters already knew Tillis had repeatedly opposed Trump – so Trump’s endorsement had limited benefit to Tillis. 

    Next, we asked a series of questions about Garland Tucker and Thom Tillis’ stands on issues – from raising the debt ceiling to cutting spending to a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Then, we asked a second ‘informed ballot’ question.

    Informed Ballot: After learning more about Garland Tucker and Thom Tillis, who would you vote for in the Republican Primary for U.S. Senate?


    Garland Tucker 55%
    Thom Tillis 17%
    Undecided 28%


19 thoughts on “Poll: A Tillis collapse

  1. Thom Tillis has received the stark reality that when you turn around and bite the hand that feeds you, you are going down. He bit the hand of the North Carolina Republican Voter, now he is going down. The sooner the better. We need a Constitutional Conservative Republican to fill the Tillis void, who will stand with President Trump, support President Trump, and work with President Trump. I believe Garland Tucker fills those requirements, and I hope he lives up to my expectations, because we all know how Washington, DC can corrupt a good man after a while. I also believe strongly in term limits, as a good man can only withstand so much temptation of wealth, power, and the feeling of royalty.

  2. Thom Tillis is a pro-illegal, anti-Trump RINO who is beholden to the Chamber of Commerce and the NC Farm Bureau. He does NOT have our best interests in mind. It’s Garland Tucker all the way for me.!

  3. What bothers me the most is that the party refused to correct Thom, and in fact allowed the entire NCGOP to devolve into a mess over Tillis support. His vicious sycophants have destroyed the power of the Republican party for the whole state, and I am not alone in wondering if that was the plan from the beginning because all of them are liberals. Thom can’t go away fast enough for me.

  4. if Tom Tillis changes his voter registration to a D he might just have a chance

    as a republican he will never get my vote in the primary

    I did not vote for him last time either in the primary and all he has done is prove the majority of voters that voted against him that they were right to do so

  5. Sounds like a breath of fresh Constitutional Aire is blowin’ in. Maybe there be a sound side breeze to blow the fluff away and set up for a fresh course.

  6. Polls I take with a mega-grain of salt. Personally, I don’t think Tillis had much support to “collapse from” in the first place. Having said that, Tillis has yet to really punch back with ads and there’s a lot of gullibles out there. But grass roots support? Tillis WILL have to overcome that little problem. He has gambled that any primary he’d face would be from weak challengers and he could therefore triangulate the middle for the general election and ignore those pesky, angry primary voters. He has lost that wager.

  7. Tommy is a transrepublican and has a habit os going the way the wind is blowing. I did not vote for him his first time and second time at bat. What amazes me is his sudden turn around looking nice, saying all the correct things but he has been found out and will be gone after November 3 elections.

    1. hahahha i love it ” transRepublican”. points to you for originality but i will be using that in the future.

  8. North Carolinians saw what Thom Tillis did in betraying President Trump. I know that the GOP establishment will try very hard to rehab him before the primary, but we will not forget and we will not vote for Tillis. GARLAND TUCKER 2020!

  9. Unfortunately, Thom is following the Burr playbook which is to kowtow to donors after the election and spew Disingenuous rhetoric before the election about his Conservative values. It has worked for Burr so why not Thom?

  10. Thom Tillis is a RINO who is of the same stripe as Elizabeth Dole and Kay Hagan. They forgot the people of North Carolina after they got to Washington. I just wish there was a way of holding these people to their promises after their election. I will not be voting for TT again.

  11. How many million of dollars did Garland Tucker spend on his TV ads to disparage Tillis? That probably has something to do with the poll results.

  12. Thom Tillis is a dishonest and corrupt self-serving bully who as State Rep used his own state district, his neighbors and constituents to push a graft-laced I-77 tolling contract with a corrupt Spanish company and was then rewarded with a $3 million PAC by a major highway asphalt supplier.

  13. The NCGOP has inappropiately put its thumb on the scale for Tillis, when they are supposed to be neutral in primaries. At the state GOP convention, Tillis was given two speaking opportunites, and his opponents, both of whom were at the convention, were given none. They also showed TIllis videos to the delegates and the others were not given that opportunity. While Woodhouse was likely responsible for all that, the new ED is also a Tillis groupie, so we can expect it to continue, when it needs to stop. All candidaates for US Senate should have the same treatment from the party.

  14. Conservative Review rates Tillis at 38% (grade of F) on their 1-100 conservatism scale.   In fact, they rate Thom Tillis as the most liberal Republican in the North Carolina delegation to DC.   In fact, if you rank the entire US Senate based on their conservatism scores,  Tillis comes in at #41.

    Heritage Action rates Tillis 59% (grade of F) on their 1-100 conservatism scale.  According to Heritage Action, the average score for a Senate Republican is 69 percent. So, our guy is below average.

    The Club For Growth rates Tillis at 67% on their 1-100 conservatism scale. When you rank the entire Senate based on conservatism scores, Tillis is 41st out of 100

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