President Donald Trump has backed Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) in the competitive race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina.
Budd is running against former Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), who was previously interviewed by The Liberty Conservative, as well as former Gov. Patrick McRory in a race to replace outgoing Sen. Richard Burr.
McRory is considered the most moderate candidate in the race, while Budd is associated with the conservative Freedom Caucus, which allied itself closely with Trump during the latter three years of his presidency. Budd’s views on issues such as immigration and many foreign policy issues line up closely with Trump’s own, although Budd has voted against some of the Trump administration’s spending initiatives, citing fiscal conservatism.
The decision to endorse Budd came after Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Yunaska Trump, chose not to run for Senate herself, citing family reasons. Trump announced this major endorsement on stage at a North Carolina rally alongside his daughter-in-law.
This Senate race will serve as a test of Trump’s continued influence within the party. Prior to the endorsement, McRory was by far the frontrunner in polling, boasting a 35-point lead over Budd. However, when voters were informed of Trump’s endorsement of Budd, a poll by Meeting Street Insights revealed that Budd surged to a 19-point lead over McRory, with Walker far off in third place.