PPP’s newest Republican Senate poll finds Thom Tillis breaking away from the pack and in a very strong position to avoid a runoff election: he’s at 46% to 20% for Greg Brannon, 11% for Mark Harris, 5% for Heather Grant, 3% for Jim Snyder, 2% for Edward Kryn and Ted Alexander, and 1% for Alex Bradshaw.
Tillis has a pretty thorough hold on every segment of the Republican primary electorate at this point- he polls at exactly 46% with moderates, ‘somewhat conservative,’ and ‘very conservative’ voters alike. He’s also over the critical 40% mark with men, women, voters in every age group, and voters in every region of the state. Even in the increasingly unlikely instance that the primary does head to a runoff, Tillis would start out with a pretty substantial advantage over either of his potential foes. In a hypothetical head to head he leads Brannon by 18 points at 50/32, and Harris by 26 points at 53/27.
Tillis’ overwhelming advantage on the airwaves has fueled his momentum in the stretch run of the campaign. 80% of likely primary voters report having seen his ads in the last few weeks, compared to only 28% for Brannon and 27% for Harris. When asked who they’ve seen the most ads for, 72% say Tillis to only 7% for Brannon and 6% for Harris.
Tillis is winning over a Republican primary electorate that across the board holds extremely conservative views on key issues. Only 33% of GOP primary voters believe in evolution to 58% who do not. Only 31% of GOP primary voters think Barack Obama was born in the United States to 52% who continue to fall into the Birther camp. Only 29% of GOP primary voters believe that climate change is a fact to 51% who do not. Only 27% of GOP primary voters think the US Education Department should continue to exist, compared to 60% who think it should be eliminated. Only 25% of GOP primary voters support the federal minimum wage to 57% who do not.
“Thom Tillis has taken the positions he needed to win over an extremely conservative Republican primary electorate,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “The question now is whether that will hurt him in the general election the same way it did for Mitt Romney in 2012.”
PPP surveyed 694 likely Republican primary voters from April 26th to 28th. The margin of error for the survey, which was conducted through automated telephone interviews, is +/-3.7%.