Tuesday, February 25, 2014

#NCSEN: Harris campaign challenging narrative of Tillis inevitability

The Daily Haymaker, by Brant Clifton, February 24, 2014 

There’s been quite a bit of suspicion for some time that Charlotte pastor Mark Harris’ Senate campaign was merely a stalking horse to peel Tea Party votes away from  Greg Brannon.  Harris labels himself a conservative — like Thom Tillis does.  But he’s named former congressman, NCGOP chairman and Ripon Society fanboy Robin Hayes as his campaign chairman.  Hayes’ longtime political strategist, Tom Perdue, has also come aboard the Harris effort.

Observers have been quick to note how — in forums and other public events — Harris and his supporters are quick to criticize Tea party favorite Brannon, but are silent on Thom Tillis, the favorite of Establishment, left-of-center Republicans.  In some forums, Harris has spoken in defense of Tillis on toll roads and other aspects of the General Assembly’s agenda

But things appear to be changing on that front.  I’ve seen polling from pros — with campaigns and unaffiliated — suggesting that Harris appears to be getting a good chunk of votes in Tillis’ Charlotte-area home base.  Perdue, the Harris strategist, has upped the ante a little bit with some crowing to Roll Call, the DC-based “newspaper of Capitol Hill”:

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