GOP senate candidate Greg Brannon is raging against Karl Rove this week as the Republican strategist's American Crossroads is set to spend more than $1 million on TV ads in the state next month.
Brannon says Rove's organization is looking to help his opponent, N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis, and that Crossroads has one goal: "to CRUSH the Tea Party" (emphasis Brannon's).
In a campaign e-mail Brannon, a tea party favorite, calls Rove an "establishment kingpin" -- which we're guessing you could take as a compliment or an insult if you were the last strategist to actually engineer a Republican presidential victory. He also asks for increased donations to try to compete with "Thom Tillis' massive war chest."
Brannon says that the "big money establishment" knows that he is "surging in the polls" and so they're looking to help Tillis out in the final weeks of the GOP primary.
The latest Public Policy Polling numbers show Tillis and Brannon neck and neck at 14 percent each. But what Brannon characterizes as a surge is actually a 1 percentage point increase over last month's numbers. Tillis's support fell six percentage points to meet him in that poll.
A more recent WRAL/Survey USA poll of 405 likely Republican voters found Tillis leading Brannon 28 percent to 15 percent.
A Civitas/Survey USA poll also has Tillis with a double digit lead over Brannon, 27 percent to 13 percent.
Joe Killian: http://www.news-record.com/blogs/killian_lehmert_the_inside_scoop/article_b55c7026-b51c-11e3-96f3-001a4bcf6878.html