The polls seem to be indicating that Ted Budd has a narrow lead over Kathy Manning. But he has a couple of problems on his hands.
First, the manner in which he was initially elected is now disadvantaging him. His first elective office was for Congress; and he never really had built a substantial base of support or extensive name recognition. He won a GOP primary in a field with numerous candidates on the strength of key major donor support. Many of his constituents probably do not know him very well.
Second, the Democrats tend to be better at the turnout game than Republicans; and early indications are that there will be high turnout in Greensboro, which is bad news for Budd. Greensboro, left to its own devices, would gladly vote to the left of Nicolas Maduro. Budd really needs the Deplorables in the exurbs, small towns and rural areas of his district to turn out heavily; but this year is more tailor-made for the democratic socialist opposition because they are out of power.
Third, he is facing a big money oligarch-- Kathy Manning-- who is receiving oodles of campaign support from progressive/socialist donors around the country.
And fourth, there is a major risk that the voters in this district do not know who she truly is.
The surname "Manning" sounds all-American. Archie Manning, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning. It is even somewhat of an historic name in the state of South Carolina.
But those things have absolutely NOTHING to do with Kathy Manning. She is a quintessential progressive/socialist Jewish woman who previously led a national Jewish organization. That is not exactly a good fit for the district.
The numbers indicate that liberal American Jews place a far higher priority on their partisan identity than on their Jewish identity. Moreover, ... for many liberal Jews, partisan identities are increasingly viewed as part and parcel of their Jewish identities.
But Manning's politics fits all the core values of contemporary Judaism-- radical feminism, cultural relativism, sexual liberationism, secularism, multiculturalism/diversity, and socialism. This worldview is essentially the same as that espoused by the modern Democratic Party.
Interestingly, Manning has stated support for border security. But we must question whether this campaign position is credible. This is directly contrary to the stances taken by her party, and by those typically held within her ethnic/religious community. Ordinarily, we see massive support for open borders in those quarters, and that is part of the reason we have seen such passionate public vilification of Trump within the media and within progressive/socialist circles. And remain mindful that she does support "comprehensive immigration reform", which would suck many more millions through the southern border.
Her website is scrubbed, for the most part, of her positions on the most divisive social issues. That is in part a strategic decision. But it is also a reflection of the fact that her side has for the most part prevailed. The reason we have legal abortion on demand, same-sex marriage and the dissolution of the nuclear family is because those who share her worldview have largely succeeded in evangelizing these noxious trends, and given them a stamp of legitimacy.
We must presume that Manning is anti-Christian. Any person who supports the LGBT agenda is necessarily advocating for orthodox Chriistians to have their religious liberty taken away. Voters ought to take note. Of course, the Republicans in our legislatures have effectively done nothing about this issue, but that is beside the point.
Interestingly, her website claims she wants to reduce special interest influence. But "special interests" is effectively what she and her household have been in Greensboro for years. She helped stick us with the performing arts center; and now her household is part of a scheme to spend $30 million of Greensboro taxpayer money to facilitate a new downtown hotel. This became a matter of controversy, because when a PAC supporting Ted Budd tried to point out the facts on this matter in a television ad, she complained, and got two TV stations to pull the ad. It must be very nice to have this level of influence with the media.
I am concerned about the fact that Budd's constituents do not know him very well, and have not had time to grow to like him, even though he is nearly as good an elected official as the Republicans are likely to produce. I am concerned about whether the deplorables will turn out. The numbers suggest the district leans Republican. Let's hope this woman does not win a seat, because she will turn out to be much further left than the appearance she is trying to create.