Almost incredibly, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., is facing defeat in the Republican primary that is eight months down the road.
In what is turning out to be a referendum on the issue of illegal immigration, first-time candidate Garland Tucker is taking a hard-line on the issue.
Much of his campaign so far has been reminding voters he stands foursquare with President Trump against illegal immigration and Tillis has not always been on the same path.
Most signs show this tactic is paying off.
Last fall, shortly after businessman-author Tucker announced he would challenge Tillis for renomination, a poll of likely Republican primary voters showed the incumbent clobbering the insurgent by 63% to 7%.
Then, Tucker launched a largely self-funded TV blitz slamming Tillis as insufficiently supportive of President Trump (who has endorsed the incumbent). Having initially opposed the president's proposed Declaration of Emergency on the border (as a means of building his much-sought wall), Tillis changed his mind and eventually backed Trump on the declaration.
Tucker hit that hard as a flip-flop. In July, the same Diversified Research poll showed Tillis' standing among likely primary voters had plummeted to 40% and Tucker's had skyrocketed to 30%.
The survey showed 30% of voters undecided.
In contrast to Democrats, Republicans have historically refrained from ousting their incumbent senators in primaries. From 1946, when young Marine Joe McCarthy unseated venerable Sen. Robert LaFollette, R-Wis., to 2012, when Indiana State Treasurer Richard Murdock unseated six-term Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., only 14 GOP senators have been defeated in primaries.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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