Ford O'Connell: Primary Battle Will Hurt GOP Senate Hopes In NC

North Carolina has a Republican candidate capable of unseating Democratic incumbent Kay Hagen provided he can survive the primary season with enough resources left for the general election, Republican strategist Ford O'Connell says.

O'Connell told J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV that he believes Thom Tillis has what it takes to give the GOP the crucial victory it needs if it is to gain control of the Senate in the fall midterm elections if he can avoid a drawn-out primary.

Tillis, North Carolina's state House Speaker, faces four other candidates in the May 6 primary, including physician Greg Brannon, and Baptist minister Mark Harris, who has tea party backing. If Tillis doesn't clear the 40 percent mark in the primary, he will be forced into a runoff against another Republican on July 15.

"Right now Thom Tillis is leading but he's only polling about 20 or 25 percent," O'Connell said. "If he doesn't get 40 percent then he's going to have a run-off. The question is, the rest of the candidates are a little bit more conservative and do the votes of the other candidates coalesce when they actually have a run-off in July? I think this is heading to a primary run-off and then we're going to see who emerges after that."

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