NORTH CAROLINA, USA — U.S. Senator Thom Tillis is declaring victory over Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham. The Associated Press has not called this race.
A little more than 100,000 votes separate the two candidates, according to the NC Board of Elections website. It's important to keep in mind that 117,000 absentee ballots are outstanding in North Carolina, and can be counted until Nov. 12 if postmarked on Election Day.
Tillis said he's confident that he has a margin of victory.
It's a battleground race that's been roiled with twists and turns, with Tillis testing positive for coronavirus earlier in October after attending a White House event, and Cunningham's alleged affair with an Army veteran's wife.
Our Alma McCarty and Jess Winters are following the candidates throughout the night.
Thom Tillis, Republican incumbent
Tillis assumed his seat on the U.S. Senate representing North Carolina in January 2015 and is up for reelection. Prior to serving in U.S. Congress, Tillis worked in management and consulting.
Key issues Tillis voted for:
- Banning abortion after 20 weeks
- Providing federal aid for coronavirus economic relief
Key issues Tillis voted against:
- Blocking President Trump's declaration of an emergency at the U.S.-Mexican border in order to allocate funds for a border wall
- Capping federal spending through 2029 that doesn't exceed $3.5 trillion a year
Cal Cunningham, Democratic challenger
Cunningham grew up in Lexington and served on the North Carolina State Senate from January 2001 to January 2003. He joined the U.S. Army Reserve following the September 11 attacks.
Here are some of the platforms Cunningham is running on:
- Healthcare -- Cunningham says he wants to extend coverage under the Affordable Care Act, expand Medicaid in North Carolina, and will oppose cutting Medicare benefits.
- Economy -- Cunningham wants to raise the minimum wage, reduce the cost of college, and allow students to refinance student loans.
- Climate/Environment -- Cunningham believes climate change is a serious threat and supports a move to renewable energy.