North Carolina Senate candidate Cal Cunningham stayed below the radar after a story broke late last week that he exchanged sexual text messages with a married woman who is not his wife. The story appears to have hamstrung Cunningham’s campaign both online and on the campaign trail itself.
Cunningham, a former state senator who is married with two children, is running against Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, who is quarantining after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Tillis is behind Cunningham in the polls by 6 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average.
The Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling shows the sexting scandal has so far not affected the race much, with less than one month until the election. Early voting begins on Oct. 15 in the state.
After the story about Cunningham’s messages with Arlene Guzman Todd, a Los Angeles public relations executive, broke on Friday, the North Carolina Democrat apologized on Saturday and declared he had no plans to drop out of the race. On Monday, he canceled a previously scheduled appearance at a town hall moderated by Jeff Tiberii, the capitol bureau chief at WUNC.
Upon closer inspection, his campaign stopped running Facebook ads for fundraising purposes on Friday, the day the scandal broke. The Cunningham campaign launched numerous new ads on Oct. 1 with a “Fight Back Fund” theme and an apparent intent to continue fundraising in the new quarter, but each ad ended Oct. 1 or Oct. 2, the latter of which was when the story broke. On Oct. 5, the 17 persuasion ads the campaign had up as of yesterday are now inactive. It appears the Cunningham camp currently has no advertising on Facebook.
Additionally, Cunningham has not tweeted from his campaign account since Oct. 2 when he gave well wishes to Tillis for a speedy recovery related to his COVID-19 illness.
As of Tuesday morning, the campaign has not posted any new fundraising ads on Facebook. The Washington Examiner reached out to the Cunningham campaign for a response.
Author: Kerry Picket
Source: Washington Examiner: Senate candidate Cal Cunningham goes dark after sexting scandal emerges