Will Lara Trump run in the 2022 North Carolina Republican Senate primary?

Market Pulse: Traders overwhelmingly agree. A market opened earlier this week asks traders how many refugees Biden will authorize to be admitted in the next fiscal year and “62,500 or more” quickly shot to the favored contract. As of close Thursday, this highest bracket was at 90¢, while “15,000 or fewer” was only at 1¢.
Lara Trump speaking at a campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota. Photo: Doug Coulter / WikiCommons / CC BY-SA 4.0.
Will Lara Trump Shake Up North Carolina?

Senate primaries in key states are heating up and everyone has their eyes on the prize: control of the Senate. One massive question mark hangs over the North Carolina Republican primary to fill retiring Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-NC) seat. That’s whether the daughter-in-law of former President Trump, Lara Trump, will get in the race.

Lara Trump is a North Carolina native and married to Eric Trump, but she has no political experience outside of campaigning for the Trump campaigns in 2016 and 2020. But in a state where Trump’s style and policies are extremely popular, her name could make all the difference. A survey conducted this month by a Republican polling firm showed Lara Trump with 32.4% support, leading in an eight-way primary.

Market Data at 8 a.m. EDT: Will Lara Trump run in the 2022 North Carolina Republican Senate primary?
“The biggest impact will be Lara Trump,” said Thomas Mills, founder and publisher of a NC political blog PoliticsNC.com. “She’s a Trump and that name carries quite a bit of weight in the GOP primary, but we don’t know how much.”

Other Republicans who have officially declared their candidacy are former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R), who announced earlier this month, and former Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), who made his announcement in December. According to Walker, he has former President Trump’s support, but the official endorsement is still very much up for grabs until Lara Trump decides if she’s getting in the race. Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) is also considering a run and he’s closely aligned himself with the former president in the House.

Prices at 8 a.m. EDT: Which party will win the 2022 US Senate election in North Carolina?
Democrat state Sen. Jeff Jackson has outraised all the other candidates in both parties, according to campaign finance reports, in what’s expected to be one of the most expensive Senate races in the country next year. If Lara Trump decides to enter the race, she would likely have access to her father-in-law’s fundraising national machine as well as her own experience and connections from the presidential campaign trail that are expected to give her a significant boost in the money department.

Regardless of whether Lara Trump decides to run or not, the North Carolina Senate campaign is one to watch. President Trump won the Tar Heel State by just over a point and Sen. Tom Tillis (R-NC) defeated his Democrat challenger Cal Cunningham by only two points. With such tight margins, the race is expected to be expensive and it will also be closely watched for its implications in which party will control the Senate after next year’s midterms.

Market Data at 8 a.m. EDT: What will be the balance of power in Congress after the 2022 election?
Market Pulse: Traders have consistently held that Republicans will hold on to Burr’s Senate seat and win the general election. Who will be running in the general is still a massive question mark.

The Republican primary nominee market has been a roller coaster over the last 90 days, with Walker leading through most of March, followed by McCrory and Trump. Then last week, Walker dropped 17¢ and McCrory shot to the top. As of Thursday, McCrory was at 27¢, Trump at 24¢ and Walker at 17¢. Budd has held onto fourth since mid-March and ended Thursday at 14¢. Confidence that Lara Trump will run in the primary ended Thursday at 40¢, but the 90-day outlook in that market has been all over the place.

Jackson has remained in the lead on the Democratic side for at least the last 90 days, with 42¢ to his closest contender, former state Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley who is expected to formally enter the race this month. At 34¢, Beasley is well within striking distance.

The US Capitol Building. Photo: Architect of the Capitol / Public Domain.
Is DC Statehood Off the Table?

New developments mean the outlook for the District of Columbia (DC) becoming the 51st state isn’t as promising as it was when we wrote about it last week.

The proposal has received the green light from POTUS and top Democrats, but it faces daunting odds in the Senate, where a handful of Democrats still aren’t on board. Once considered a fringe cause pushed by area locals, the vast majority of Democratic lawmakers are now on the record supporting statehood. Unfortunately for them, in a 50-50 senate “the vast majority” isn’t enough, and they aren’t likely to get any Republican support much less enough to pass the 60-vote filibuster threshold.

At least five Democratic senators haven’t said if they’ll support it or not due to either not having enough information about what’s in the bill, or because they have too many other issues on their plate right now. This group includes Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Angus King (I-ME), who caucuses with the Democrats, Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), who hasn’t weighed in at all.