Over $100 million spent in North Carolina U.S. Senate race in 2022

U.S. Senate candidates Cheri Beasley (D) and Ted Budd (R) are shown in this combination photo.

RALEIGH — New data shows that the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina passed $100 million in the waning days of the 2022 campaign cycle.

As of Nov. 2 the total amount spent in the race to succeed the retiring Richard Burr was $101,518,123.00 according to 527Tracker, a site that monitors federal campaign spending in real time.

Nearly half of that total, some $48 million, has been spent opposing Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley.

A former state Supreme Court Chief Justice, Beasley has been hammered by ads from the Republican-aligned Senate Leadership Fund for months over crime-related issues stemming for her long career as a defense attorney and judge. SLF has spent nearly $38 million in the race. The Democratic-aligned Senate Majority PAC has spent just over $13 million on Beasley’s behalf, almost three times less than SLF.

The next highest spenders are Club for Growth Action and Americans for Prosperity Action. Club for Growth’s spending mostly occurred in the Republican primary with over $13 million spent boosting Budd in the GOP field. Budd won the May 17 primary with 58% of the vote. Americans for Prosperity Action’s spending totaled nearly $10 million.

The fifth-highest spending group in the race is the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The NRSC immediately after the primary began spending over the summer opposing Beasley and shared some ad spending directly with the Budd campaign.

Compared to the 2020 U.S. race this year’s contest has been a quieter affair.

Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis and Democrat Cal Cunningham may have become friends after their contest, but the race topped the others in the ’20 cycle with $250 million flooding into the state.

While polling through the summer and early fall showed the race perhaps was one of the closest in the country, Budd has continued to hold a steady lead in recent polling.

Emerson College released the most recent poll in the race on Nov. 2 showing Budd with a 51% to 46% advantage over Beasley.

In a summary of the race, Emerson College Polling Executive Director Spencer Kimball said, “since last month, Budd has maintained his 16-point lead among male voters, whereas Beasley’s nine-point lead among women voters has shrunk to a four point lead.”

The summary also stated that Budd holds a 53%/40% favorable/unfavorable rating among voters and for Beasley, it is 46%/48% favorable unfavorable.

The job performance of President Joe Biden is also holding Beasley down: Biden held a 56% disapproval rating among voters polled with just 37% approving.

About Matt Mercer 472 Articles
Matt Mercer is the editor in chief of North State Journal and can be reached at [email protected].