Scores Win over Bowles in N.C. Senate Race
North Carolina voters elected Burr 52 percent to 47 percent over Bowles, with 75 percent of the precincts reporting, according to CNN.
Burr stayed behind Bowles for much of the campaign but received a late boost after releasing a series of television ads linking Bowles to the Clinton administration. The five-term U.S. congressman also gained on his opponent by helping to negotiate the passage of a $10 billion tobacco bill that could boost the state's economy by nearly $4 billion.
Republicans hand picked Burr to run against Bowles in the Tar Heel State. During the race, the Republican National Senatorial Committee bolstered Burr's campaign with millions in ad dollars, and the party rewarded him with high-profile appearances with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
This is the second defeat for Bowles, a businessman from Charlotte who spent much of his own money -- over $1.5 million -- on the race. He lost a Senate bid in 2002 to Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole.
Bowles Battle Still Too Close to Call
"We've got to make sure that we turn out every single vote there is," Democrat Erskine Bowles told a group of supporters in Wilmington on Saturday. "This race is going to be very close. It's going to come down to one or two votes."
Together, Bowles and his Republican opponent U.S. Rep. Richard Burr have spent more than $20 million on a race rife with negative ads and one polls call a dead heat going into the election.
Both men have enlisted the help of state party powerhouses. On Saturday, Gov. Mike Easley flanked Bowles as he ended a week-long bus tour of the state's eastern counties. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., joined Burr at rallies in Raleigh and Greensboro.
The candidates have spent their final days focusing on Eastern North Carolina, which Bowles lost to Dole in his 2002 Senate bid and where Burr plans to take advantage of the region's growing support of the GOP.
"I think they will be very good to me," Burr told the Associated Press.
Show Race Neck and Neck After Ad Blitz, Tobacco Bill
Bowles, a Charlotte businessman who led the race by more than eight percentage points going into August and September, now maintains only a one-point lead over Burr, the Associated Press reported.
Bowles Spar Over Key Issues in First Televised Debate
In the debate, moderated by National Public Radio correspondent and North Carolina native Carl Kasell, the two men sparred over issues including education, health care, same-sex marriage and North Carolina's most pressing concern-- jobs.
Race in North Carolina May Get Rougher in Last Weeks
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