Budd takes 20-point lead in two new Senate polls as McCrory craters

Former Gov. Pat McCrory (left) and U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (right) are featured in this combination photo. Photo of McCrory via AP

RALEIGH — U.S. Rep. Ted Budd continued to stretch out his lead in the upcoming May 17 Republican U.S. Senate primary, according to two new polls released in the past week.

In a poll released Monday afternoon by the Club for Growth, Budd earned 43% of the vote among likely Republican primary voters, compared to 23% for former Gov. Pat McCrory. The 20-point gap is the largest of any publicly-available poll in the race to secure the Republican nomination for the seat for the retiring Richard Burr. 

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker took 9% of the vote and combat veteran Marjorie K. Eastman earned 4%, which around 20% undecided. 

“North Carolina voters understand that Ted Budd is the true conservative in this race and will fight for them in Washington,” said Club for Growth PAC President David McIntosh.

A day later, the North Carolina Chamber released a poll of the race, showing Budd with a 45% to 21% lead over McCrory.

The poll showed Walker at 9% and Eastman at 3% with 20% of voters undecided.

“Congressman Ted Budd seems to be hitting his stride at just the right time in this primary. Early in the cycle, the big question was whether a relatively unknown Congressman could propel himself ahead of former Gov. Pat McCrory with the help of President Donald Trump’s endorsement, as well as the endorsement and financial backing of the conservative Club for Growth organization. After moving into the top spot in several polls back in early April, the biggest question now is just how much Budd’s margin of victory will be by the time voting ends on May 17,” said the NC Chamber’s political director, Kirk O’Steen.