CHARLOTTE, NC — Senior senator from North Carolina Richard Burr said Tuesday that he was “cautiously optimistic” that Sen. Kay Hagan’s (D-NC) Republican challenger state House Speaker Thom Tillis would win.
“I think when you look at where the national issue set is for the American people, it’s national security, its economic security, it’s immigration, it’s missed opportunities with energy expansion, those lend themselves to a Thom Tillis or a Scott Brown,” Burr said in an interview with Breitbart News at the Tillis election night event.
“I think for that reason the intensity level that the Republican Party had and continues to have will show in today’s outcomes and I expect Thom Tillis to win. I expect New Hampshire to be very close but I expect Scott Brown to actually win,” he added.
When asked about the late breaking radio ad from the Kay Hagan campaign featuring Obama endorsing Hagan, Burr said he believes that it was an indication that the Hagan campaign was desperate to drive out the vote.
“I was not shocked because I’m sure she was looking at the same numbers I was looking at,” he said in reference to a recent poll which he said he believed indicated a likely victory for Tillis.
“They came to the conclusion they were going to lose this election and the only way they could win it is if they drove turnout. And now if you go by some of the information that we heard today, turnout has not been high in Democrat precincts. If that’s the case, one the ad didn’t work, but two the outcome was already predetermined,” Burr said.
He added that he has not been surprised that the U.S. Senate race has been as close as it has been given the amount of money the Hagan campaign and her supporters have spent against Tillis.
“She spent the lion’s share of the $100 million. Just her share probably exceeds the cost of any Senate race in the history of the United States, just her side,” he said. “So for this to have maintained a close margin is not a surprised.”
He added that a Tillis victory would have impact beyond amplifying his Republican voice in the Senate.
“It’s important to me because it means my vote doesn’t get cancelled every time I go to the Senate floor, but from the standpoint of the American people it means that with a majority that’s Republican we can work with the House to put legislation on the president’s desk. And that is what the president hasn’t seen because Harry Reid didn’t allow that process to take place,” he said, adding that a GOP Senate would be an opportunity to show the American people Republicans can govern.