Voters head to the polls Tuesday for NC’s Primary Election

CHARLOTTE — Tuesday is Election Day in North Carolina as hundreds of thousands of voters will head to the polls to vote in the primary elections. Democratic and Republican voters will vote in their party’s respective primary, and unaffiliate voters will be able to select which party’s ballot they would like to use.

[VOTE 2022: Political Beat Section]

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and you must vote at your precinct to cast your ballot. Click here to find your voting location.

North Carolina has several high-profile races on the ballot, including a race for one of its two U.S. Senate seats.

>>Channel 9 will bring you complete coverage of the election results Tuesday night on-air and online.

Months of ads and millions in spending by the Club for Growth PAC has paid off for Rep. Ted Budd. The 13th District congressman has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and is rolling into Tuesday’s primary as the favorite in the GOP race.

“It does look like he’s got the momentum,” said Chris Cooper, a Western Carolina political science professor. “He’s got the numbers thanks to Club for Growth. He’s got the polling.”

Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is Budd’s biggest competition. McCrory is hoping undecided and unaffiliated voters will put him over the edge. The winner of the Republican primary will almost certainly face former Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, who doesn’t have a major Democratic opponent.

[VOTE 2022: Channel 9 Primary Election candidate guides]

The nation’s eyes are also on the mountains in North Carolina, where embattled Congressman Madison Cawthorn is running for re-election. He’s had no shortage of headlines the past month. Trump posted to Truth Social saying he is sticking with Cawthorn.

“Recently, he made some foolish mistakes, which I don’t believe he’ll make again,” Trump said. “Let’s give Madison a second chance.”

Cooper is calling the race unpredictable.

“You’ve got about 42% of the people who have voted thus far in the Republican primary. They’re not even Republicans. They’re unaffiliated voters,” he said.

(VIDEO BELOW: Watch reporter Joe Bruno’s voting guide for candidates running for Mecklenburg County and Charlotte city offices)

In Charlotte, another person asking for a second chance is Patrick Cannon. The former Charlotte mayor who served time in prison for accepting bribes while in office is one of six Democrats seeking an at-large seat.

Democratic strategist Douglas Wilson said Cannon has a shot.

“I think it just depends on the voters,” he said. “You know, I think that voters are very forgiving. We’ve seen voters in the past give folks second chances.”

Don’t expect the campaigns to end soon. Charlotte’s elections are on July 26, which is when any second primary will be. Republican strategist Larry Shaheen said if the local GOP slate can do well in fundraising, they’ll compete in July.

“It’s going to take half-a-million dollars to change turnout in the city, and if they are able to raise that then you’ll see a change,” he said. “If not, we’ll probably see more status quo.”

(Watch the video below: The Political Beat with Channel 9′s Joe Bruno -- May 8, 2022)