Cal Cunningham

Gerry Broome / AP

Republican U.S. Senator Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham squared off Tuesday night in the second of their three debates, and questions about the potential successor to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hung heavy over the debate.

This year, North Carolina voters will make crucial decisions at the polls that could impact state politics and laws for at least the next decade.

In addition to casting their ballot in the race for the White House, North Carolinians will also vote in statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate, the state attorney general, the state supreme court, and U.S. House races.

This week:  Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis and his Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham had their first debate. The Democrat's answer to a hypothetical question about the COVID-19 vaccine caught some attention. 

On the reopening front, Gov. Roy Cooper announced elementary schools could welcome back all their students soon — as long as they wear masks and practice social distancing. Meanwhile Cooper's opponent, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, said face covering requirements would be dropped come January if he were to win the governor's race.

Offering insight and making their debut as our commentators are Aisha Dew of Higher Heights and Clark Riemer, former chair of the North Carolina Young Republicans and a staffer in the state House.
 


Incumbent Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham faced off last night in the first of three televised debates. This race is one of the most closely watched in the country as it is considered a true toss up. 

Merigrace Ramsey / WRAL

Republican Senator Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham sparred over the pandemic, systemic racism and each other’s records Monday night during a socially distanced debate.

Thom Tillis Cal Cunningham U.S. Senate
Campaign Photos

Follow live updates of the first televised debate between North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham.

Watch live here starting at 7 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham hasn’t campaigned in person since the first stay-at-home order was issued in March.

Thom Tillis Cal Cunningham U.S. Senate
Campaign Photos

North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham are meeting for their first televised debate in a campaign whose outcome could determine which party controls the Senate.

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via AP, Pool

Perhaps you are grateful for the lack of election news. While coverage of presidential primary contenders started back in 2018, former Vice President Joe Biden has all but disappeared from the news. 

Erica Smith, a three-term member of the North Carolina General Assembly, is running in the North Carolina Democratic U.S. Senate Primary.
Erica Smith for US Senate

A political committee linked to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is funding ads and other campaign materials designed to meddle in North Carolina's Democratic Senate primary, the group acknowledged on Friday.

Madeline Gray / For WUNC

If U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham is heading to the top of the primary mountain in a climate-controlled gondola, then Erica Smith, his main competitor for the Democratic nomination, is trudging to the summit, through a thicket, with one of those large walking sticks.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

U.S Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer purportedly imagined a Democrat would have to lock himself in a "windowless basement" and fundraise nonstop to beat incumbent GOP Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina. But, Cal Cunningham's campaign office has plenty of natural light. 

Cunningham got the stamp of approval from the DSCC's national recruiters. His primary campaign has benefitted from lots of outside money, including millions from VoteVets. Though the candidate wants to see an end to dark money. 

On this edition of the WUNCPolitics Podcast, Cunningham discusses the money in politics, who's supporting him, and why he should be North Carolina's next senator.