By Dallas Woodhouse
Carolina Journal News Service
RALEIGH — Former N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday, April 14, plans to announce on his radio show he will immediately enter the race for U.S. Senate in 2022, sources confirm to Carolina Journal.
CJ first reported McCrory was taking steps to run for U.S. Senate and would likely enter the race. McCrory will immediately end hosting his popular daily radio show to campaign full-time.
The “Pat McCrory Show with Bo Thompson” program on WBT is the most popular morning show in Charlotte. As reported by Axios Charlotte, the show held the top spot in its time slot for seven straight months in 2020 — May through November.
The show has allowed McCrory to connect with a significant number of potential Republican primary voters. It has also allowed him to do some fence-mending in Mecklenburg County.
McCrory lost the 2016 election by about 10,000 votes. Mecklenburg broke in his favor in 2012, 49.5, 49. In 2016, Roy Cooper carried the county, 63-34.
GOP mega consultant Paul Shumaker will manage McCrory’s run. Shumaker has been the lead consultant on five winning U.S. Senate campaigns in North Carolina, winning the past four. Shumaker did not manage any of Mr. McCrory’s three previous runs for governor.
McCrory will face former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, who announced his bid for Senate in December, and. U.S. Rep. Ted Budd.
Chris Sinclair of Sinclair Public Affairs has worked with McCrory on large projects, including passage of the ConnectNC bond campaign in 2016.
“Hosting the radio program has been great for Pat, He’s got his mojo back,” Sinclair told CJ. “Pat McCrory is a seasoned campaigner. He has proven he can win; proven he can win a primary and a general election. He will be extremely formidable. He has a strong record of policy achievement. He understands all parts of North Carolina: the east, the west, the rural, and the urban. But, as always, McCrory will have to earn it with voters on the campaign trail.”
Sources tell CJ McCrory already has important fundraising teams in place — one focused on North Carolina and one focused nationally.
According to a memo obtained by Politico, McCrory would enter the race with a large lead over Walker and Budd, based on a survey by Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies.
The memo said McCrory was viewed favorably by 58% of likely primary voters, unfavorably by 13%. Walker was viewed favorably by 20% of GOP voters, unfavorably by 4%. Budd was viewed favorably by 16%, unfavorably by 5%.
McCrory led with nearly half the vote in a hypothetical three-way matchup — with 48%, compared to 13% for Walker, and 9% for Budd. He also led both in one-on-one match-ups. The polling memo did not include Lara Trump. Despite public pronouncements she’s is still considering entering the race, sources continue to say she won’t.