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Cunningham, Tillis locked in tight race in North Carolina: poll

Cunningham, Tillis locked in tight race in North Carolina: poll

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general GOP senators demand probe into Cuomo's handling of nursing home deaths CNN anchor confronts GOP chairman over senator's vote to convict Trump MORE (R) and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham are running neck-and-neck in North Carolina's Senate race, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday. 

Cunningham leads incumbent Tillis by only 2 points, with Cunningham garnering 49 percent support from likely voters and Tillis garnering 47 percent support.

The difference between the two candidates in the survey falls within its 4.5-point margin of error.

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About a quarter of likely voters felt that the recent news of Cunningham’s affair was important to their decision. Cunningham, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve, admitted to having an affair and requested privacy regarding what he called a personal matter. 

News of his affair did not appear to significantly affect his campaign, as he has maintained a lead ahead of Tillis since the news broke. Tillis and other Republican groups have seized on the affair, stressing that Cunningham has put the importance of duty and character at the center of his campaign. 

Eighty-one percent of those surveyed said that control of the Senate by either the Democratic or Republican party was important to their vote.

The GOP grip on the majority is in jeopardy this election cycle as vulnerable Republicans like Tillis and Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior reverses Trump policy that it says restricted science | Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination | Republicans press Biden environment nominee on Obama-era policy Republicans, please save your party Susan Collins to back Haaland's Interior nomination MORE (Maine), Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE (Colo.), Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGOP targets Manchin, Sinema, Kelly on Becerra House Freedom Caucus chair weighs Arizona Senate bid New rule shakes up Senate Armed Services subcommittees MORE (Ariz.) and even Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHere's who Biden is now considering for budget chief House Democratic leaders back Shalanda Young for OMB after Tanden withdrawal The Memo: Is Trump mounting a comeback — or finally fading? MORE (S.C.) are running tight races with just weeks to go until the general election. 

Democrats need to flip three or four Senate seats to gain the majority in the upper chamber, depending on which party wins the White House. 

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGarland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks DOJ declined to take up Chao ethics probe Trump was unhinged and unchanged at CPAC MORE (R-Ky.) is currently attempting to secure two wins for the GOP, passing a second coronavirus aid bill and confirming Judge Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettBill introduced to create RBG monument on Capitol Hill Supreme Court faces landmark challenge on voting rights The Jan. 6 case for ending the Senate filibuster MORE to the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgBill introduced to create RBG monument on Capitol Hill Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits McConnell backs Garland for attorney general MORE. The efforts are an attempt to bolster vulnerable GOP incumbents in their races this November. 

In the same Washington Post-ABC News Poll, 50 percent of likely North Carolina voters said they support Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenThe West needs a more collaborative approach to Taiwan Abbott's medical advisers were not all consulted before he lifted Texas mask mandate House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act MORE and 48 percent said they support President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE.

The poll interviewed 795 adults in North Carolina from Oct. 12 to 17.