Cal Cunningham’s Week Was A Complete Disaster

North Carolina Democratic Senate Primary Heating Up

February 7th, 2020

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – From flip-flopping on his desire for dark money assistance, to appearing to be illegally coordinating again with a super PAC, to being criticized by members of his own party, and having his radical liberal positions outside the mainstream on full display…Cal Cunningham’s week was a complete disaster. Many think the Democratic presidential primary in Iowa was chaotic, but the North Carolina Senate race turned into a complete free for all this week.

Here’s a deep dive on Cunningham’s awful week.


Just four months ago, Cal Cunningham was asserting that Senator Tillis’ campaign was “flailing” because he was “relying on the help of special interest groups to try to boost” him in his primary.  It’s safe to say that the tables have turned for Silent Cal. Cunningham’s Democratic opponent Erica Smith, who the media has disrespectfully ignored up to this point, now has $1.6 million behind her in television ads, and Cunningham is flailing to respond.

  • Despite saying just the day before that he would rather have not had any dark money support, Cal Cunningham right after the pro-Smith buy was announced appears to have illegally coordinated with Vote Vets by posting new b-roll to his website for the outside group to use in an upcoming ad. Sure enough, Vote Vets cut a new ad for Cunningham just a day later using that same b-roll. To make matters worse, this isn’t even the first time this cycle Cunningham and Vote Vets appear to have illegally coordinate on television ads.
  • Cunningham, who has already been dinged by fact-checkers for falsely asserting that he “isn’t funded by special interests,” has now taken nearly $6 million from his super PAC in order to get through his primary. This pathetic display of weakness renders his entire “anti-corruption” platform, his number one policy initiative, a hypocritical joke.



Because he barely has any endorsements from North Carolina organizations and has failed to build a grassroots coalition in the state, Cunningham had to turn to the DSCC and their members to help him push back on the pro-Erica Smith ad buy this week. This resulted in immediate criticism for Cunningham from North Carolina Democrats:

  • “Erica Smith- is the better Democratic Senate Candidate. Cal has had his turn- ask Sec. State Elaine Marshall.” (Former State Senator Joel Ford, twitter, 2/6/19)


Even a new PPP Poll  commissioned by a max-donor of Cunningham’s brought him bad news this week. Despite all of the spending that’s been done on his behalf, 59% of Democrats still don’t know enough about him to form an opinion. It appears that Cunningham and his allies are wasting their money right now, a problem that will be exacerbated in the coming weeks as presidential candidates shift their focus to North Carolina and continue to make it difficult for down ballot campaigns to advertise.


It should be seen as no coincidence that Cal Cunningham finally sided with Schumer and the rest of the socialist Democrats in supporting the removal of President Trump from office just after the announcement of the pro-Smith ad buy. While Senator Tillis spent the week ripping up Nancy Pelosi’s articles of impeachment and discussing the need to get back to work on the issues that matter to the the people of North Carolina, Cunningham was stuck pandering to his radical, liberal base.

The most recent polling numbers that have been released in North Carolina make it clear why it took Cunningham so long to finally support removal. He now joins Erica Smith in having an impeachment position that is at odds with 62% of North Carolina voters, including 63% of independents.


President Trump’s decision to highlight Senator Tillis’ Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act during his State of the Union address on Tuesday also brought another major contrast in the North Carolina Senate race to the surface this week. While Senator Tillis is getting national recognition for his efforts to curb sanctuary policies and keep North Carolinians safe, it has been confirmed by fact checkers that Cunningham “supports the idea of enabling them.”


Cal Cunningham’s disaster of a week has broken the Democratic primary in the North Carolina Senate race wide open. Despite his hypocritical efforts to have his super PAC buy him a primary victory, he can’t seem to build the necessary support in his own party in North Carolina. If Cunningham does manage to avoid a repeat of 2010 and make it out of his primary, this week displayed that he is already on the wrong side of multiple issues that will cripple him in the general election.