In North Carolina, both leading Republican candidates – former Gov. Pat McCrory and Rep. Ted Budd – had underwhelming fundraising quarters to end 2021. They were outraised by the presumptive Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley, who now has a clear path to the nomination after state Sen. Jeff Jackson withdrew from the race in December. Meanwhile, McCrory and Budd are on a crash course in the Republican primary, which is currently set for May 17.

Budd and McCrory are the leading candidates in the race. McCrory is trying to line up establishment support and argue he’s the more electable candidate in a general election — which privately Democrats and even some Republicans agree with — and is the only candidate who has won statewide before. Of course, he lost re-election to Democrat Roy Cooper in 2016 by 10,277 votes even as Trump carried the state by roughly 3.7 points.

Budd has the coveted Trump endorsement in this race, but even more impactful might be the more than $11 million and counting, according to AdImpact, that the Club for

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