This, the sixth and last installment of my series on the candidates that will be on the ballot in the Crystal Coast area, will deal with the United States Senate race between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and her Republican challenger, Thom Tillis.
It was recently reported that this year’s North Carolina Senate race was expected to become the most expensive Senate contest in the history of American politics. If this comes to pass, it will be primarily due to the huge amounts of television advertising purchased by the Hagan campaign, who’s funding outstrips that of Thom Tillis by almost two-to-one.
Hagan defeated Senator Elizabeth Dole in the election of 2008. Since then, according to the June 30th tally maintained at the OpenSecrets website, HERE, she has raised over $18-million, a staggering sum. She has spent only a fraction over one-half of that total, leaving her with a campaign war chest containing almost $9-million. And according to the CrowdPAC website, HERE, almost 62% of Hagan’s fundraising has been from out-of-state contributors, and about 44% of those contributions were considered large.
As to her voting record, according to CrowdPAC records Hagan voted the liberal line 88% of the time. And in a revealing factoid, combining the voting record for the special interest groups Americans for Better Immigration (NumbersUSA), Heritage Action for America, and FreedomWorks, Hagan voted for their agendas an average of 6% of the time.
Perusing the summary of overall voting ratings compiled by the numerous special interest groups at the VoteSmart website, HERE, we see that, in recent years, Hagan’s rating from NARAL is 100%. However, when we switch to ratings from conservative groups, we see 11% from AFP, 11% from the ACU, and 16% from the Club For Growth. Citizens Against Government Waste rates her at 23%, while the National Taxpayer’s Union puts her at 12%. On second amendment issues, GOA rates her at 10%, while the NRA rating is 0%. And on the all-important issue of immigration reform, FAIR rates her at 0%.
It is safe to say that we know where Kay Hagan stands. She is a stalwart liberal, and has signed on to the Obama agenda for as long as he is President.
With respect to Hagan’s opponent, I can’t add much to what I wrote a few weeks after the May 6th primary election, HERE:
I will not try to pretend that Thom Tillis, in and of himself, is a desirable candidate from the perspective of a conservative. Tillis is a moderate, and if elected this fall, can be expected to behave in office much as other moderates have behaved, such as Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr.
But in this instance, we conservatives cannot consider Tillis’ candidacy in isolation. We must acknowledge the basic fact that, however disgusted we may be at the prospect of sending another moderate, go-with-the-flow Republican off to Congress, the alternative is another six years of Kay Hagan, and probably of Harry Reid.
This choice is made even harder by understanding that Thom Tillis is fully aware that we conservatives, if we vote at all for a senatorial candidate, will feel constrained to vote for him when we realize that Hagan is the only viable alternative. His primary campaign strategy was predicated on that assumption, and he did not even tip his hat to the Tea Party wing of the GOP.
So, tea partiers, welcome to the real world. Man up, get your mind right, and prepare to do what we must do this fall. If it helps any, think of it as denying the election victory to Kay Hagan, rather than awarding it to Thom Tillis.
That assessment, and that advice, stands. We must elect Thom Tillis to the Senate. But rest assured, if I live to see Tillis compile a six-year record as a moderate, I will be among those who strongly consider advocating for a primary challenge in 2020.