Source: The Dispatch
Republicans who initially felt uneasy about Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson running for governor aren’t feeling any better a few months later as he remains the clear frontrunner in the primary, The Dispatch reported.
Those in the NCGOP who fear that Robinson’s awful views on issues like LGBTQ+ rights, public education and abortion will sink him in the general election are trying to figure out a strategy to knock him out of the race but have come up empty-handed so far.
According to The Dispatch, some Republicans are worried that his views, opinions, social media presence, and “checkered personal and campaign finance” history will scare off suburban and independent voters in 2024, leading to another four years of a Democrat working in the Executive Mansion.
The concerned Republicans also know that Democrats must have an opposition research file just brimming with damaging information that could be released at any time. Robinson himself has lately seemed worried about what information has yet to be released.
The Dispatch obtained a voicemail Robinson left for a prospective Republican donor where he tried easing concerns about what that information might be.
“I know there’s probably a lot of stuff out there swirling around … People are trying to put doubt in the air about our campaign, about me, but none of that stuff is true, I guarantee you,” Robinson said in the voicemail. “We’re ready to take this challenge on. And I believe that we are the candidate.”
Reporters in North Carolina and beyond have already written stories about Robinson’s failure to pay his taxes, some highly questionable campaign-related expenses, and his history of horrific comments, such as referring to the LGBTQ+ community as “filth” and calling teen school shooting survivors “spoiled little bastards.”
As people learn more about Robinson and hear the things he’s said, Democratic candidate Attorney General Josh Stein will likely see an increase in support among Democratic donors. The 2024 governor’s race could be similar to the 2016 race where backlash against HB2 helped then-Attorney General Roy Cooper beat the incumbent, Gov. Pat McCrory, a GOP consultant told The Dispatch.
“Mark Robinson will become the No. 1 targeted priority of many liberal activist groups across the country,” said Raleigh-based GOP consultant Paul Shumaker. “If Robinson’s the nominee, it will be 2016 on steroids.”
Sen. Ted Budd’s former campaign advisor told The Dispatch that hesitancy about Robinson “is significantly overblown” by “a small number of armchair quarterbacks who aren’t on the team.”
It’s possible that a very vocal minority of those in the NCGOP is worried about Robinson, but that doesn’t mean he’s gotten much public support from those in the state party.
“Many elected Republicans avoid commenting on the gubernatorial primary entirely. Three North Carolina House Republicans—Reps. David Rouzer, Greg Murphy, and Virginia Foxx—declined to publicly comment on Robinson’s chances when asked by The Dispatch how they see the primary shaping up.”
Republicans who spoke with The Dispatch shared the view that at this point in the race, it would take tens of millions of dollars and a “united front among North Carolina’s elected Republicans” to even give Robinson a significant challenge in the primary, let alone win the primary.
“The juice just isn’t worth the squeeze to try to take Robinson out,” one Republican operative told The Dispatch.