Real Clear Politics shows a 2-point lead for current U.S. Representative Budd, while polling by Emerson College and the Trafalgar Group each shows Budd 3 percentage points ahead.
FiveThirtyEight’s latest polling average shows a much tighter contest, with Beasley trailing Budd by three-tenths of a percentage point.
Both candidates are vying to replace retiring Republican Senator Richard Burr, who was first elected in 2005.
Trump is putting his own legal troubles aside as he stumps for Budd on Friday night in Wilmington. While some GOP candidates have been wary of aligning too closely with the former president, the Budd campaign is welcoming Trump with open arms.
Budd adviser Jonathan Felts told the Associated Press that Trump’s presence could help drive turnout “with unaffiliated and/or undecided voters concerned about the economy.”
“Trump won North Carolina twice, and an in-person rally is helpful,” Felts said.
Budd’s campaign has called President Joe Biden “extremely liberal and dangerously incompetent.” Budd is running to defend against liberals’ “woke, socialist agenda and weak foreign policy” and to “restore the conservative, constitutional values that make this country great.”
Beasley, the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, filed to run for Senate in February. She has pledged “to be an independent voice who stands up for North Carolina and what’s right for our state, regardless of the politics.”
Their platforms are in line with other national candidates within their parties.
Budd wants to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and uphold Second Amendment rights. Beasley, who also wants to correct the broken immigration system, and intends to reform the criminal justice system and expand affordable health care.
Abortion remains one of the most contentious debates in the campaign and nearly every other across the country in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Budd recently co-sponsored South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham‘s legislation to nationally ban abortions after 15 weeks. It is a proposal that has publicly been admonished by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other prominent Republicans who want states and not the federal government to handle the issue.
Budd said he is “proud” of his 100-percent rating from National Right to Life and the Susan B. Anthony List. He vowed to “oppose activist judges” and Supreme Court expansion, prohibit do-it-yourself abortions, and defund Planned Parenthood.
“The Democrats‘ position on abortion—for everyone at any stage—is out of touch with North Carolinians,” Budd said during a campaign stop in Greensboro, according to WGHP.
A press release from the Beasley campaign said that Budd is against all exceptions in abortion-related cases.
“Congressman Budd’s extreme and out-of-step commitment to ban abortion is causing him to lose support among voters, including those who voted for President Trump in 2016,” the campaign said.
FiveThirtyEight said that about 56 percent of registered voters in North Carolina said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while about 40 percent said it should be illegal.
The Center Square reported that Beasley has a fundraising advantage over Budd by an approximate 2-to-1 margin. She had raised more than $16 million through June 30 while spending about $11 million. She has $4.8 million in cash on hand.
Trump defeated Biden, 50 percent to 48.7 percent, in North Carolina in the 2020 election.
Newsweek reached out to both campaigns for comment.
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