The North Carolina Republican Party dropped a mail piece this week with false claims about Brad Salmon’s 2012 race for the state senate.
Salmon, a Democrat, is running this year against friend of the Rant Mike Stone, the Republican House representative from Tennessee’s District 51 (that’s a joke, guys – Mike lives in Sanford, North Carolina).
The mailer focuses on the 2012 race, warning voters to not “be fooled this time” and claiming that “Harnett and Lee County voters overwhelmingly rejected” Salmon in his bid against now Sen. Ron Rabin.
While it’s true that Salmon lost that race, the claim that voters in Lee and Harnett counties “overwhelmingly rejected” him is false.
The final tally for the district, which encompasses all of Lee and Harnett counties, and a small sliver of Johnston County, was 51-49 (a difference of 1,472 votes district-wide).
But a look at the tally in Lee and Harnett counties, which is fair since it’s what the mailer based its claim on, reveals Salmon topping Rabin by more than 1,400 votes. While Salmon lost his home county of Harnett by 39 votes, he edged Rabin in Lee County by 1,498 votes. Rabin’s victory came from his 2,931 vote margin in the heavily Republican Johnston County portion of the district.
Salmon lost his 2012 race against Rabin, that much is true. Salmon lost Harnett County by 39 votes, that much is true. But saying “Harnett and Lee County voters overwhelmingly rejected” Salmon in 2012 is false. Combined, Harnett and Lee counties went for Salmon by 1,459 votes.
The state GOP has spent a bunch of money calling Salmon a liar (which is unsurprising, since even conservative polls show Salmon extremely well-positioned in the race). This is a reminder to take claims in the final stretch before Election Day with a healthy grain of salt.