By Alexis Levinson, CQ Roll Call (MCT)
The competitive North Carolina Senate race will cost more than $100 million by Election Day, and that price tag could climb further as both parties prepare to spend even more if the race becomes too close to call.
The campaigns for both Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Republican state Speaker Thom Tillis confirmed to CQ Roll Call they are making preparations in case of a recount in one of the country’s most competitive races. Recent polls show a tied race, and this week the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call moved the race to Tossup from Tilts Democratic.
“It’d be kind of silly for us not to (prepare),” said Todd Poole, the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party.
A recount occurs in the Tar Heel State if the margin of victory is less than 0.5 percent of the total votes cast, or 10,000 votes, whichever is less. That is something political observers say could easily happen.
“We put a field program in place early knowing this is going to be a close election, that involves a voter protection and an election protection piece,” said Hagan campaign communications director Sadie Weiner.
A North Carolina Democrat confirmed that includes a recount.
“We’re preparing for all potential outcomes,” including a possible recount, said Tillis spokesman Daniel Keylin.
Republicans need to gain six seats to take the Senate majority, and that path cuts through several states — including, most likely, North Carolina. Republican Joni Ernst’s campaign in Iowa is also reportedly pursuing information about a recount.
Photo: U.S. Senator Kay Hagan addresses a welcoming crowd and young campaign supporters at her campaign field office September 19, 2014 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Hagan was in Chapel Hill to rally her staffers and supporters from Orange and Durham counties to get out the vote against her opponent, NC House Speaker Thom Tillis in this November’s election. (Harry Lynch/News & Observer/MCT)