Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

Clay Aiken Holds Slim Lead With All Precincts In

Aiken is a Democrat from North Carolina. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken leads his Democratic primary opponent by just 372 votes Tuesday night in a North Carolina race for the House.

Aiken had a small advantage over former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, 41 percent to 40 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press, which had not declared a winner as of midnight.

A third Democrat, mental health counselor Toni Morris, garnered 20 percent, according to the AP.

In the days leading up to the race, Democratic operatives predicted that Aiken’s top-heavy campaign would ultimately lead to his defeat in Tuesday’s primary. High consultant fees, coupled with disappointing fundraising, gave Aiken little cash to convince voters he was a serious candidate.

Crisco, on the other hand, spent hundreds of thousands on television ads in the district beginning in March. Some of that went toward an attack ad on Aiken, which dubbed him “No-Show Clay,” hitting the singer for not attending meetings of a Presidential Commission for People with Intellectual Disabilities that he had been appointed to.

Yet Aiken’s famous name ultimately helped him earn 41 percent in the primary.


Aiken now moves on to face GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in the 2nd District. Ellmers defeated radio talk show host Frank Roche 59 percent to 41 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to the AP.

The district will be tough for a Aiken to win. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won here in 2012 with 58 percent.

North Carolina’s 2nd District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.


Related stories: 

Clay Aiken’s Primary Fate May Not be Known for Days 

  • hesh R

    Clay may be on top tonight but he will definitely be a bottom in November.

  • JetsFan1984

    Aiken is better than Ellmers.

  • Manny Bartow

    After a century of centralized control imposed in the names of this or that superstition du jour, it seems clear that the once vibrant countries of the West are faltering under the weight of bureaucratic socialism’s leaden threads.

  • jack

    Where does Akin stand on amnesty? Where does he stand on increased legal immigration. These are the two main issues facing our country.

  • jack

    If Aiken takes a firm stand against amnesty he could win. Ellmers is pro amnesty and is ready to sell our country to the Mexicans and is totally caving on the issue of raising legal immigration levels. She just wants to flood our country with cheap labor which will drive down wages and increase unemployment.

  • Nan231

    Doesn’t matter, if elected he will vote the way his masters want him to vote.

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