North Carolina Republicans could have a candidate to take on vulnerable Democratic incumbent senator Kay Hagan sooner than some expected, according to a new poll. Public Policy Polling shows state house speaker Thom Tillis with the support of 46 percent of Republican voters ahead of next week’s primary election, which would let him clear the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a run-off.
Tillis, who has long been considered the favorite to win the nomination, currently holds a sizeable lead over tea-party favorite and chief opponent Greg Brannon’s 20 percent, but the race was much tighter as recently as earlier this month. In a PPP poll from April 3–6, Tillis and Brannon were at 18 and 15 percent, respectively.
In the event of a run-off against Brannon, Tillis still holds a lead with 50 percent support to Brannon’s 32 percent.
North Carolina’s primary election will take place next Tuesday on May 6. If no candidate breaks 40 percent, the top two candidates will move to a run-off election on July 15.