PPP's newest Republican Senate poll finds Thom Tillis breaking away from the pack and in a very strong position to avoid a runoff election: he's at 46% to 20% for Greg Brannon, 11% for Mark Harris, 5% for Heather Grant, 3% for Jim Snyder, 2% for Edward Kryn and Ted Alexander, and 1% for Alex Bradshaw.
Tillis has a pretty thorough hold on every segment of the Republican primary electorate at this point- he polls at exactly 46% with moderates, 'somewhat conservative,' and 'very conservative' voters alike. He's also over the critical 40% mark with men, women, voters in every age group, and voters in every region of the state.
Even in the increasingly unlikely instance that the primary does head to a runoff, Tillis would start out with a pretty substantial advantage over either of his potential foes. In a hypothetical head to head he leads Brannon by 18 points at 50/32, and Harris by 26 points at 53/27.
Tillis' overwhelming advantage on the airwaves has fueled his momentum in the stretch run of the campaign. 80% of likely primary voters report having seen his ads in the last few weeks, compared to only 28% for Brannon and 27% for Harris. When asked who they've seen the most ads for, 72% say Tillis to only 7% for Brannon and 6% for Harris. His significant resources advantage relative to the rest of the field has finally paid off in a big way.
-Only 33% of GOP primary voters believe in evolution to 58% who do not.
-Only 31% of GOP primary voters think Barack Obama was born in the United States to 52% who continue to fall into the Birther camp.
-Only 29% of GOP primary voters believe that climate change is a fact to 51% who do not.
-Only 27% of GOP primary voters think the US Education Department should continue to exist, compared to 60% who think it should be eliminated.
-Only 25% of GOP primary voters support the federal minimum wage to 57% who do not.
Tillis has had to tack pretty far to the right in order to appeal to the Republican primary electorate that holds these views, and put away his fairly weak field of opponents. It's a situation somewhat reminiscent of what Mitt Romney had to do to nail down the Presidential nomination in 2012, and a lot of the positions he took in his protracted primary contest ended up coming back to bite him in the general election. It will be interesting to see if Tillis faces a similar fate this fall because of the stances he's had to take to survive the primary.
Full results here