Despite the news that North Carolina Senate candidate Cal Cunningham has been caught in a sexting scandal, Democrats are standing by their man.

They have little choice in the matter. Their donors have already invested millions in this race, and it is seen as the possible tipping point in control of the Senate.

James Arkin and Burgess Everett write at Politico:

Sexts and coronavirus: Must-win Senate race upended down the stretch

It was a crazy 24 hours in North Carolina’s Senate race: Just a few hours after Republican Sen. Thom Tillis reported a positive coronavirus diagnosis on Friday evening, his Democratic opponent Cal Cunningham admitted to sending romantic texts to a woman who is not his wife.

The events have upended what’s seen as a must-win race for Senate control. Cunningham said he would not drop out of the race after the text messages were revealed on Friday evening, while Tillis had to close his campaign headquarters and quarantine ahead of confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court vacancy…

In a statement on Saturday morning, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee indicated it was sticking with Cunningham.

“North Carolinians are supporting Cal because he will protect health care coverage for pre-existing conditions, fight to bring down the costs of prescription drugs, and help our country recover from this crisis. We are confident that he will bring the same courage and determination to the Senate as he has while serving our country in uniform,” said Lauren Passalacqua, a spokesperson for the DSCC.

This is the bottom line:

The stakes couldn’t be higher for Senate control. Democrats need to net at least three seats to win back the majority, and North Carolina has been seen as a potential tipping point state by both parties. It’s unclear how Cunningham’s text messages or Tillis’s positive diagnosis might affect the polls, which have narrowly favored Cunningham.

Cunningham has one thing going for him. Democrat voters likely care more about taking control of the Senate than they do about a sexting scandal. We’ll soon find out how independent voters feel about it.

The stakes are high and anything could tip the scales of the race.

Christina Zhao writes at Newsweek:

Sexting Scandal in North Carolina May Help Republicans Hold on to Senate

The sexting scandal that has plagued North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham’s campaign could help Republicans hold on to the legislative chamber this November in a brutally competitive race with 35 seats up for election.

North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, a married father of two, has admitted to sending romantic text messages to Arlene Guzman Todd, a former female staffer who is not his wife. With the scandal emerging one month before Election Day, Cunningham, who’s taking on first-term Republican Senator Thom Tillis, has declined to drop out of the race.

“It’s chaos—it’s really what I see it is,” said David McLennan, a Meredith College political science professor, according to the Associated Press.

One has to wonder if North Carolina voters are having John Edwards flashbacks.


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