Thom Tillis Declares Victory in North Carolina Senate Race

Sen. Thom Tillis (R., N.C.,) asks a question during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., June 16, 2020. (Tom Williams/Reuters)

Senator Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) has declared victory in his reelection bid against Democrat Cal Cunningham.

The North Carolina Senate race has not been called by the Associated Press as of Wednesday afternoon. However, Tillis currently holds 48.7 percent of the vote to Cunningham’s 46.9 percent, with 93 percent of the total vote counted.

Most North Carolina counties have already reported greater than 98 percent of their results, according to the New York Times. Several populous Democratic counties have reported about 90 percent of their results, indicating that Cunningham may be able to narrow Tillis’s lead. However, Tillis decided to declare victory.

“Senator Thom Tillis won the most expensive United States Senate race in history,” the Tillis campaign said in a statement. “Tillis’ victory proved pollsters, pundits and the media wrong, as North Carolinians once again chose a problem solver who keeps his promises and delivers results.”

In a victory speech delivered to supporters on Tuesday night, Tillis thanked supporters and his family, calling the results of the race a “stunning victory.”

Polls consistently showed Tillis trailing Cunningham coming into Election Day. Polling numbers did not change significantly even after revelations that Cunningham, an army officer and married father of two, carried on an extramarital affair as recently as July.

The race was simultaneously thrown into turmoil after Tillis revealed he had contracted coronavirus, and was forced to hold campaign events and interviews virtually until his recovery.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.