It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Republicans in Washington wanted North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis to quickly win the party’s Senate nomination and focus entirely on vulnerable Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.
Instead, Tillis faces a May 6 primary that’s so crowded it may be hard for any candidate to muster the 40 percent needed to avoid a mid-July runoff. The race also pits two leaders -- Kentucky U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul -- against each other in a proxy battle over the party’s future.