The most recent polls show that 13th District Congressman Ted Budd has leaped out to a commanding lead in the Republican North Carolina Senate primary.
Earlier polls had shown former NC Gov. Pat McCrory in the lead, although his lead was diminishing.
Former 6th District Congressman Mark Walker doesn’t appear to have moved much and is mired in third place with about 10 percent support.
The poll conducted by The Hill and Emerson College shows Budd with 38 percent support, compared to 22 percent for McCrory and 9 percent for Walker.
Budd got the surprise endorsement of former President Donald Trump in June 2021, and 59 percent of likely voters said Trump’s endorsement would make them more likely to back a candidate.
Perhaps an even more telling poll finding is that Budd leads the presumptive Democratic candidate, former NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, 50 percent to 43 percent; Walker leads Beasley 47 percent to 42 percent; and McCrory trails Beasley 43 percent to 41 percent.
McCrory has run three statewide races for governor and lost two out of three.
A poll released by Civitas on Thursday, April 7 puts Budd up by double digits, but not quite as much as the Emerson College poll, which was conducted April 2 to April 4.
According to the Civitas poll Budd leads with 32 percent to 21 percent for McCrory and 7 percent for Walker. On a ballot that only had the top four contenders, Budd had 34 percent, McCrory 24 percent, Walker 10 percent and Marjorie Eastman 3 percent.
A poll conducted by Civitas in January showed McCrory leading with 24 percent followed by Budd with 19 percent.
The Civitas polling indicates that Budd has increased his support by 13 points and McCrory during the same time has dropped 3 points.
In North Carolina primaries, to avoid a runoff election a candidate has to receive more than 30 percent of the vote. The current polls show that Budd is above that 30 percent by a slim margin. But the Civitas poll also showed that 39 percent were undecided.
Budd will be speaking at a Trump rally in Johnston County on Saturday, April 9, and Trump is expected to include his support for Budd in his remarks.