Jul 18, 2022 - News

Wiley Nickel's cash advantage in competitive NC-13 race

Candidates <span style="background-color:#0b6abf; color: white">Democratic state Sen. Wiley Nickel</span> and <span style="background-color:#d93b17; color: white">Republican Bo Hines</span> in NC-13
Data: FEC; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

Newly filed campaign finance reports show Democrat state Sen. Wiley Nickel has five times more cash in his campaign coffers than his opponent Republican Bo Hines, in one of the most competitive U.S. House races in the country.

  • Why it matters: The outcome of this race will help determine whether Democrats can hold onto control of Congress and help Biden achieve his priorities in the remaining two years of his term. Big fundraising numbers could give Democrats a better chance of doing that.

By the numbers: Nickel raised some $338,000 between April 28 and June 30, bringing his total fundraising this election cycle to $1.8 million, according to the latest reports.

  • Hines, a 26-year-old first-time candidate, has raised close to the same amount so far: $1.7 million.
  • Nickel has more than half a million in his campaign coffers, compared to Hines’ $103,000, in part because Hines faced an expensive and more competitive primary election.
  • Of note: Hines slightly outraised Nickel between the end of April and the end of June, though nearly half of his $347,000 total came from money he loaned himself.

The big picture: Nickel isn't alone in outraising his Republican opponent. In North Carolina and across the country, Democrats are outraising Republicans in federal races — a bright spot in what appears to be a bleak election year for the party.

  • "Democrats see it as a sign of momentum after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last month and an uptick in their chances of keeping the Senate," Politico reported.

State of play: While Nickel's fundraising lead gives him a leg up ahead of the November election, it remains to be seen whether it will be enough to defeat Hines in a Republican-leaning district.

  • This year's midterms are expected to produce wins for Republicans across the country, as support for President Biden dwindles.

Context: In a signal of how important this race is for Democrats, the national party’s congressional campaign arm named NC-13 as one the districts it's prioritizing ahead of the November election.

  • The party "will make the needed investments to defeat MAGA Republican Bo Hines," Nickel’s campaign said in an email last week.

What's next: Hines may not lag behind Nickel in fundraising much longer. U.S. House minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy will campaign with Hines in Raleigh in early August, a source with knowledge of the plans told Axios.

  • McCarthy's visit, which could be announced within the next week, is an indication national Republicans could ramp up their game in the district as November nears.

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