Live Results: Republican Ted Budd won North Carolina Senate seat after race against Democrat Cheri Beasley

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Sean Rayford/Getty Images; Allison Joyce/Getty Images; Insider
  • Republican Rep. Ted Budd won against Democrat Cheri Beasley for the US Senate seat in North Carolina.

  • Budd, who was endorsed by Trump, defeated 13 other candidates in the Republican primary.

Republican Ted Budd won the North Carolina Senate seat after a race against Democrat Cheri Beasley. Polls closed in the state at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Sen. Richard Burr, who has represented North Carolina in the US Senate since 2005, said in 2016 that his current term would be his last, leaving the seat vacant.

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North Carolina's Senate race candidates

Beasley is a former justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Prior to running for Senate, she worked as a public defender and judge, becoming the first Black woman to serve as chief justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Beasley won the Democratic nomination among a crowded slate of candidates, ultimately defeating 10 challengers and bringing in over 80% of the vote.

Budd, Beasley's challenger, is a Republican member of the US House, representing North Carolina's 13th Congressional District. Armed with former President Donald Trump's endorsement, Budd handily defeated Pat McCrory, Mark Walker, and 11 other GOP Senate primary candidates, bringing in more than half of the vote.

North Carolina's voting history

The state voted for former President Donald Trump over President Joe Biden by a very narrow margin of 1.35 percentage points in the 2020 election. North Carolina has voted for the Republican candidate in every presidential election cycle since 1980, except in 2008, when former then-Sen. Barack Obama defeated Sen. John McCain by less than a 1-point margin.

The money race

According to OpenSecrets, Beasley raised $29 million, spent $25.8 million, and had $3.3 million on hand, as of September 30, 2022. Her opponent, Budd, raised $11 million, spent $9.2 million, and had $2.9 million cash on hand, as of September 30.

As of late October, several dozen super PACs, national party committees, politically active nonprofits, and other non-candidate groups had combined to spend about $84 million to advocate for or against candidates in this race, including during the race's primary phase.

Budd has benefitted more from this spending — the pro-Budd Senate Leadership Fund super PAC has dwarfed all other groups by spending about $30 million and counting — and some Beasley supporters say national Democrats aren't doing enough to support their candidate in a race that they believe is winnable.

What experts say

The race between Beasley and Budd was rated as "tilt Republican" by Inside Elections, "lean Republican" by The Cook Political Report, and "leans Republican" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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