North Carolina state House Speaker Thom Tillis just secured the GOP nomination a few days ago, but Democrats aren't wasting any time in dropping the hammer. The Senate Majority PAC is unleashing a hefty new $850,000 ad campaign attacking Tillis with this spot:
In the ad, a woman purporting to be in attendance at Tillis' victory party asks viewers to "take a closer look" at his record, charging that Tillis "gave tax cuts to the wealthy and big corporations—even kept breaks for private jets and yachts. He raised taxes on 80 percent of North Carolinians." Oh, but here's the remarkable thing: The narrator was actually at the party and recorded the ad there, while Tillis was giving his acceptance speech! Sure, it's a stunt, but it's one that should drive the Tillis camp a bit batty wondering how they let this happen.
Meanwhile, the untrustworthy Rasmussen Reports offers the first post-primary look at the November general election. They find Tillis leading Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan by just a single point, 45-44, which is all the more remarkable since they had Tillis up 47-40 in January. Now, you can't simply say that Rasmussen is a biased pollster, hence we can "just add 5 points" (or some fixed number) to the Democrat's score. Rasmussen is simply too unreliable to be wrong in a consistent way—it's really a case of garbage in, garbage out.
But nevertheless, it's not a helpful narrative to Tillis that "even Rasmussen" shows the race tightening, especially at a time when Tillis should theoretically be experiencing a primary bounce. Fortunately, we'll have much more credible numbers from PPP early next week. And in the meantime, Tillis may want to start vetting his guest lists a little better.