“I have absolutely no interest whatsoever," he said shortly before Tuesday's debate. "One of the reasons I don't watch it it I already know what they re going to say."
But Thursday night the Durham Libertarian and pizza delivery man will join Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis on the set of Wilmington's WECT studio for the third and probably last Senate debate.
Haugh doesn't plan to get into the personal attacks each of the main party candidates leveled on each other during their first two debates.
"I don’t feel any great need to talk about them" he said. "I think people are already familiar with all the reasons not to vote for them. They've done a good job of that."
In fact he thinks he might help change the tone.
"I hope my presence might help them play nice with each other,” he said.
Haugh has lingered in the single digits in most Senate polls. A USA Today/Suffolk University Poll released Wednesday had him at 4 percent. He had 7 percent in an NBC poll released Sunday.
So he could be a spoiler in what's expected to be a close race. But a spoiler for whom?
Conventional wisdom has been that he would take votes from Tillis. But an Elon University survey suggested just the opposite.
The online survey gave 763 voters a choice of a ballot with all three candidates and one with just Hagan and Tillis. It found that Haugh would siphon twice as many votes from Hagan as from Tillis.
Tillis, the survey directors concluded, "should be thankful that Haugh is on the ballot."