BY ANNA DOUGLAS
FEBRUARY 12, 2016 3:45 PM
WASHINGTON — North Carolina’s longest-serving sitting congressman, U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, could face his most difficult re-election bid yet if his support continues to slide and an anti-establishment Republican voter mood plays out the way some political observers suspect it might.
Jones, 73, has had comfortable general-election wins since his first election in 1994. And despite criticism from his own party at times for his opposition to the Iraq War and his attempts to rein in federal spending by voting against military budget proposals, Jones has successfully knocked down primary challengers over recent years.
The March 15 primary, though, could be different.
“This is probably going to be one of his toughest races in his entire career,” said David McLennan, visiting professor and political scientist at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. A runoff or second primary between Jones and his best-financed challenger, Taylor Griffin, is a possibility, McLennan said.