Rising scandals are fueling uncertainty over Cawthorne’s re-election


(The hill) – The flood of controversy surrounding MP Madison Cowthorne (RN.C.) shows no signs of a halt a few weeks before his May 17 primaries, raising questions about whether he can avoid a second round, despite the fact that he is one of the most upscale freshmen in the house.

Just last week, Cowthorne was struck by a host of bad headlines, and now he is facing calls from a Republican senator. Tom Cillis (NC), which also supports the main issue against Coutorna, to investigate the ethics of alleged insider trading.

Rising scandals have put Cawthorne’s bid for re-election on an increasingly uneven footing and caused uncertainty over how voters will break down. Although Cawthorne boasted a wide reputation and superiority in office, he constantly gave his critics ammunition – albeit with a limited runway – to saturate voters’ minds with controversy and declare themselves.

“I just think there are so many moving parts in this drama that will take place on May 17th. I’m not sure that someone has a pure crystal ball to make a forecast one way or another, “said the political scientist of Katauba College. Michael Bitzer.

“It’s clear as dirt as we’re talking here,” he added. “I wouldn’t try to speculate anyway. I’d better go buy a lottery ticket and hope to retire at the end of the week. ”

Cawthorne first sparked his main race last year when he announced he would change the district to participate elsewhere, only to return to the campaign for his original place after the roundup. But uncertainty about his electoral prospects increased earlier this year after he spoke of “sexual perversions” in Congress and said other lawmakers had invited him to an orgy over cocaine.

Since then, a North Carolina resident seems to have appeared in the headlines weekly, receiving reprimands for driving a disqualified car; two attempts to carry loaded weapons through airport security; allegations of sexual harassment; calling the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky a “bandit”; employees are reportedly denied leave if two family members have died within a week or more.

This week, Cawthorn was also accused of insider trading, first reported in the conservative Washington Examiner, for advertising the cryptocurrency “Let’s Go Brandon.” Kothorn allegedly knew that a digital coin named after anti-President Biden would support NASCAR driver Brendan Brown before the news was unveiled.

Detectives say ongoing scandals may not be enough to submerge Couthorne’s hopes of re-election, given that voters may not get involved, but they have certainly put him in defense.

“Suppose you build houses and make a number of mistakes. One mistake: people may say, “Okay, we’ll fix it.” We understand. But if you do seven in a row, then people start to be interested in you. And I think mistakes are kind of made as Cowthorne keeps making them, ”said North Carolina Republican strategist Carter Rehn.

“You really don’t know how many voters in his constituency see it, read it or watch it on TV, you just don’t know at the moment,” he added. “It’s hard to say how big the impact is, but it has to be negative.”

Meanwhile, when news of the controversy leaks to the public, Cawthorne’s opponents pounce.

Kotorna’s two main opponents are State Senator Chuck Edwards (right), who is considered a so-called establishment voter, and Michelle Woodhouse, a former Republican district chairman.

Edwards is gaining approval, including from Tillis, the level of senator involvement from the state, which is unusual against the incumbent congressman. Super TAC, which is affiliated with Tillis, is dropping $ 300,000 on advertising against Cowthorne, and Edwards ’company is expected to spend more than $ 400,000 on advertising in an area where airtime is cheap.

This week, Tillis further exacerbated Coutorna’s criticism, urging the House Ethics Committee to launch an investigation into allegations of insider trading. The committee declined to comment when it came to The Hill, and Cawthorne’s spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Also on Wednesday, the Political Action Committee, which opposes Cowthorne, filed an ethics complaint against him, focusing on several issues, including loans to an employee who he said is his cousin.

“Voters are discovering the fact that it’s a mile wide and an inch deep. A lot of rhetoric, a lot of immaturity, really bad decisions, deliberate violation of the law, driving a car for three years, disqualified driver, a gun through the airport, not once but twice, “- said Woodhouse The Hill.

“If you had asked me eight months ago if Congressman Cawthorne could have been in that situation if he had never left, he would have had an easy path to victory, I think, without all those headlines. But I don’t know what’s going on with Madison. ”

However, Cawthorne was by no means convicted.

The incumbent did not back down, accusing the “establishment” of launching against him a “coordinated drip campaign” and saying this week: “They are going to publish an article about the attack every one or two days to try to kill us with deaths from 1,000 cuts.”

A Republican poll published on Thursday showed Coutorna’s support falling – but still 17 points higher than Edwards’ and above the 30 per cent he needed to avoid a second round.

It is known that it is very difficult to remove the incumbent president in the primaries, and in such a geographically extensive area as Cawthorne, in the western part of North Carolina, Edwards and Woodhouse, there is a rise in raising voter awareness of scandals, and just over two weeks .

In addition, Edwards and Woodhouse have profiles that are pale compared to the national, which Cawthorne can boast of, and dragging Cowthorne’s name through the mud can have a limited impact if they fail to learn their own name above.

“Easy money tells you that it’s all such a big deal that a candidate loses. But I think some of these candidates, many of them are still completely unknown. And others are just starting to spend big money, ”said one experienced North Carolina political commentator. “Current leaders do not often lose. That’s why finding the time and recognizing names is the biggest problem. ”

Coutorn’s arrogance is also not new, and at some point finding out his scandals may bring less repercussions to his detractors.

“I don’t know if these things resonate with the tough primary electorate in the mountains. I think this is the most important question, whether all these voters who are going to go to the polls know about it, ”the source said. “I think they know he’s a young hot-headed man who has ambitions to be famous all over the country. So I think some of these things they may perceive with a fraction of the salt because they just think it is. ”

In addition, Cowthorne is close to former President Trump, an invaluable ally who remains the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

“I think it could potentially deny Trump’s approval in the state. The big question I have in my head is how much of this support for Trump will overcome the embarrassment, the negative fatigue that Cawthorne has inflicted on himself? ” Asked Bitzer.

But despite this, the incessant news about Cowthorne is likely to delay the race in the headlines – and in the ambiguity.

“If there are any signs this week, fasten your seatbelts,” Bitzer said, “because it could be a difficult trip.”

Rising scandals are fueling uncertainty over Cawthorne’s re-election

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