Trump Endorsement Pays Off Huge After Election Victory

( While former President Donald Trump’s endorsed candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate primary is clinging to a lead of fewer than 1,000 voters, the candidate he endorsed in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary handily won by more than a 30-point margin.

Republican Congressman Ted Budd made mincemeat of former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory in last week’s primary and will now face off against Democrat nominee Cheri Beasley in November.

Budd had been locked in a tight race with Pat McCrory for months, but with just a few weeks to go before the primary, that all changed when two enemies joined forces to put Budd over the top – Donald Trump and the conservative economics group Club for Growth.

Both Club for Growth and Trump announced their support for Ted Budd last year. But it wasn’t until the final weeks of the race that Budd started building an insurmountable lead in the polls.

In April, Club for Growth’s Super PAC ratcheted up spending attacking former Governor McCrory. In the subsequent weeks leading up to last Tuesday’s primary, Club for Growth spent $11.2 million on ads supporting Budd.

Around the same time Club for Growth’s ad blitz began, the former president traveled to North Carolina and held a campaign rally for Ted Budd.

According to the ad tracking company, AdImpact, no other candidate or political group came close to matching what Club for Growth spent in the state. North Carolina Republican strategist Carter Wren told NBC News that it was Club for Growth’s massive spending that helped lock up Ted Budd’s victory over McCrory.

As the former governor, Pat McCrory had a much higher profile than Ted Budd. In March, the Budd campaign’s internal polling had McCrory on top by 6 points. But in April, things began to turn around. By the time Trump held his campaign rally for Congressman Budd, he was leading in the polls by double-digits.

Budd campaign advisor Jonathan Felts told NBC News that while Trump’s initial endorsement last year helped with fundraising and grassroots support, Trump’s April rally “was when the dam broke.” Felts said after Trump’s rally, those who had remained on the sidelines throughout the race knew it was time to “pick a side.”