Politics & Government

GOP plans last-minute $6.5 million infusion for ads for close North Carolina Senate race

The National Republican Senatorial Committee confirms it has reserved an additional $6.5 million for the North Carolina race for airtime in the final weeks of the extremely tight race.

That puts the Republican Party spending at $10 million in North Carolina, compared with $16 million spent by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for Sen. Kay. Hagan. Add to that the multimillion-dollar spending by outside groups for both Hagan and Tillis, and North Carolina remains the most expensive Senate race among the battleground states that will determine which party takes control.

Brook Hougesen, a spokeswoman for NRSC, said its internal polls show “that undecided voters are starting to break toward Thom Tillis, in large part because Senator Hagan’s misplaced priorities and the negativity of her campaign.”

Recent public polls also show some change. A North Carolina poll from High Point University on Monday showed Tillis and Hagan tied at 40 percent, and a poll by Survey USA had Tillis ahead 46 percent to 45 percent. Previous recent polls have had Hagan ahead by one to four points. The Real Clear Politics average now has Hagan ahead by 1.5 points.

Hougesen said polls show North Carolinians are concerned about national security. Tillis recently has stressed a threat from the terrorist group Islamic State, which is making advances in Syria and Iraq and has argued that Hagan was not concerned enough.

The Tillis campaign has focused criticism on Hagan missing a Senate Armed Services Committee briefing on Feb. 27 in order to attend a fundraiser. Tillis’ campaign said it showed she was failing to take her job seriously.

Hagan has said that Senate votes came up that day, the briefing time was shifted, and she missed it.

Hagan and her campaign have argued that she was well informed as a member of the committee and held hearings as chair of its subcommittee on emerging threats. She advocates air strikes and arming moderate rebels in Syria. She has said that Tillis has criticized but not come up with a way the U.S. should deal with the terrorist group.