Former state supreme court justice Cheri Beasley (D), U.S. Rep Ted Budd (R), and seven others are running in the general election on Nov. 8, 2022, to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.
Incumbent Sen. Richard Burr (R)—who first took office in 2005—is not seeking re-election, making this an open seat race. In 2020, when the state last held an election for U.S. Senate, incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis (R) defeated Cal Cunningham (D), 49% to 47%. In 2016, Burr defeated Deborah Ross (D), 51% to 45%.
The two most recent presidential elections in North Carolina were decided by less than 4 percentage points. In the 2020 election, incumbent President Donald Trump (R) defeated Joe Biden (D), 49.9% to 48.6%. In the 2016 election, Trump carried North Carolina with 49.8% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 46.2%. At the start of the 2022 election cycle, Inside Elections rated this state Battleground Republican.
The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. Senate. Thirty-five of 100 seats are up for election, including one special election. Democrats have an effective majority, with the chamber split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris (D) having the tie-breaking vote. Fourteen seats held by Democrats and 21 seats held by Republicans are up for election in 2022. Republicans are defending two Senate seats in states Joe Biden (D) won in the 2020 presidential election: Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Democrats are not defending any Senate seats in states Donald Trump (R) won in 2020.
Minor party, independent, and write-in candidates include Matthew Hoh (G), Shannon Bray (L), and independent candidates Hayden Boyette, Michelle Lewis, Kimrey Rhinehardt, Brenda Rodriguez, and Marc White.