The Cable

Burr Keeps Senate Seat, North Carolina Called for Trump

North Carolina goes for Richard Burr — and Donald Trump.


The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is keeping his seat.

Republican Sen. Richard Burr just defeated former state Rep. Deborah Ross in an election that was predicted to be among the nation’s most contested. Ross did not have Burr’s foreign-policy experience — but then, she also wasn’t running on the same ticket as Donald Trump. For a while, that was considered a factor in her favor.

Trump’s warm position on Putin and Russia meant that Burr could not echo all of the intelligence officials who blamed Moscow for the Democratic National Committee hacks. So, too, did it mean that Ross, in campaigning, could paint Burr with the same broad pro-Putin brush.

And it was also believed that Burr’s take on defense and foreign policy would not resonate with women or voters of color, all of whom were expected to prove important for Ross, Clinton, and any prospect of turning North Carolina blue.

But it was not, it appears, important enough in a state fraught with allegations of voter suppression — and that took its 15 electoral votes and went red.

Photo credit: Davis Turner/Getty Images

Emily Tamkin is a staff writer at Foreign Policy covering ambassadorial and diplomatic affairs in Washington. @emilyctamkin

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