(NewsNation) — The race for the U.S. Senate seat for North Carolina has been called by NewsNation/ Decision Desk HQ in favor of Ted Budd.
Republican U.S. Rep Ted Budd battled it out against former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice, Democrat Cheri Beasley and seven other candidates to represent the Tar Heel State in the U.S. Senate. Incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr is not seeking reelection, making it an open seat race.
The purple state race was among the closest in the country, with both parties emphasizing the need to energize their bases and persuade a shrinking pool of undecided voters. However, without significant controversy at play, the race has mostly flown under the radar of national news outlets.
During a debate between the two leading candidates, Beasley and Budd volleyed jabs at each other. On the topic of abortion, Budd dodged a question about his support of a 15-week abortion ban but called himself a protector of “unborn lives” and criticized Beasley for her “extreme” support of the Women’s Health Protection Act. Meanwhile, Beasley said she supportive of codifying Roe v. Wade into law, protecting abortion access at the federal level. Both sought to distance themselves from President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, and when asked about acceptance of election results, Budd replied, “Why wouldn’t I?”
A win for Beasley would be historic — the first time a Black person is elected to the seat in North Carolina. But North Carolina has not elected a Democratic Senator in more than a decade. Campaign finance records showed Beasley outraised Budd by nearly $20 million and outspent him by more than $15 million by the end of September. But despite that, polls showed a close race with Budd leading Beasley by at least a couple of points.
The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. Senate. Of the 100 Senate seats, 35 will see elections during the midterms, including one special election. Democrats have an effective majority in the chamber, with a 50-50 split and Vice President Kamala Harris acting as the tie-breaking vote. Democrats hold 14 seats and Republicans hold 21 seats up for election in the 2022 midterms.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.