North Carolina: Cunningham Democrat affair threatens Senate majority

There are only a few days left, the US Democrats recently wrote in an email to win the four Senate seats that will give them a majority in this chamber of Congress. The discussion about the occupation of the vacant Supreme Court seat with Amy Cony Barrett has brought the importance of the Senate for the political decisions of the country to the public again in the last few days.

And the chances of the Democrats are not bad of keeping a majority in the House of Representatives and winning the Senate. Should Joe Biden also become president in the election on November 4, all three constitutional organs would be in democratic hands.

North Carolina crucial to Senate majority

Also on the list of seats to be won is Cal Cunningham. He is running in North Carolina against the Republican candidate, incumbent Thom Tillis. He should take the seat from him and North Carolina could really be decisive for the Senate majority.

Because Tillis, who was elected to the Senate for the first time in 2014, has remained rather pale in the past six years and has only become known beyond the state because of his corona infection. Since mid-June, Cunningham was up to 12 percent in the lead. The average was six percent, even though Cunningham himself is not a rousing candidate. But he is currently campaigning alone.

Because Senator Tillis belongs to the circle of senators who may have been infected in the rose garden of the White House. He had publicly communicated his corona infection on October 3, and not only the Republican majority leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell lost the majority for the confirmation of Judge Barrett. Tillis also had to stop his election campaign. Even Cal Cunningham can campaign well against a candidate in quarantine.

Cunningham’s chances are dwindling: Affair with young political advisor

But Cunningham’s chances of winning the current Republican Senate post for the Democrats may be dwindling. That is determined by which qualities the voters in North Carolina consider to be particularly important in their political representatives. Because parallel to Tilli’s infection it became known – and has since been confirmed by Cal Cunningham – that he is having an affair with a political advisor from California, Arlene Guzman Todd, who is eleven years his junior.

Reports of the affair always highlight that they are both married, both have two children, and their husband is a veteran from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The way in which the affair became known is also spicy. Because all of a sudden the text messages that were sent to each other appeared.

Depending on how high the waves of this affair go, the question of where the text messages came from will still matter. But right now the whole thing remains largely undiscovered, as all eyes are curiously on the president’s show. Cunningham’s affair could vanish in the shadow of Trump’s corona show.

Not the first candidate to have an extramarital affair

The public assessment of the communication between Cunningham and Guzman Todd varies greatly. My goodness, how childish, some write; oh, they were looking for excuses with their families, discovering others. The affair does not yet seem to make waves across the United States.

The next few days will show what effects it has in North Carolina: both in the survey results and in the reporting. This will say just as much about the political culture in the USA as it does about the electoral strategy dealing with this situation.

Because a few years ago such a report would have been the sure end of Cunningham’s candidacy. Many candidates have stumbled upon extramarital affairs. Democratic presidential candidates Gary Hart and John Edwards are only two on this list. Bill Clinton did not take office, but it damaged his image in the long term. On the other hand, nothing of the affairs that had become known remained hanging on Donald Trump.

No Trust in Politics: Are Voter Expectations Falling?

The outcome of the election in North Carolina could also say something about whether and how the public’s assessment of such incidents has changed. Can one still stumble upon an affair in Trump’s America when the president is obviously paying hush money even in such cases? But don’t be too quick to conclude that the American public has become more liberal, at least not in the rural parts of the country.

Rather, the assessment then seems to come through that voters no longer expect their MPs to behave differently. Because just 13 percent of the citizens of the USA currently have great confidence in Congress. If you take the low from 2014, when only 7 percent had great confidence in the legislature, that is almost a doubling of the value. But still very far from the 40 percent it was at the beginning of the 1970s.

Or maybe voters look more at factual positions than personal characteristics. Since the outcome of the Senatorial elections in North Carolina can presumably decide which majority exists in the Senate, it is worth taking a look at this competition.

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