Meet North Carolina
By: Ally Bernstein-Naples
North Carolina’s position as a swing state is well earned this election season; it is an essential state in the path of President Trump to victory and to the Democrats in their path to winning the senate. In September, the Trump Campaign released seven potential paths to the presidency, five of which required a win in North Carolina. North Carolina’s fifteen electoral votes prove less essential to Joe Biden but a victory would nevertheless move him closer to the coveted 270. More importantly, a win in North Carolina would signal an end to the stranglehold Republicans have had on the South since Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign. But despite Biden’s 2-5 point lead in the state, North Carolina is by no means a sure thing for the Democrats. In 2016, Trump won the state by a considerable (for a swing state) margin of 3.6 points. He flipped back every county Obama had turned blue in 2012. North Carolina is home to many of the storied (and often misunderstood) Obama-Trump voters who mysteriously frequent the same restaurants as New York Times reporters. This development should not be surprising, considering a large percentage of North Carolina voters are registered as unaffiliated; more than are registered Republican. This signals that for at least part of the North Carolinian demographic, party loyalty is not a significant factor in determining election choices. Obama’s win in North Carolina was defined by both galvanizing infrequent voters and flipping counties that overwhelmingly elected Bush in 2000 and 2004. Much like in Georgia, North Carolina’s 2016 presidential election was compromised by egregious voter suppression tactics. In 2016, North Carolina elected Democratic Governor Roy Cooper who has demonstrated a commitment to making voting easier and more accessible. Nevertheless, turn out in essential counties and among voters of color in early voting has proved significantly smaller than in redder more rural counties. In the nature of a true toss-up state, North Carolina’s position on the 2020 map will be unclear until the results start to trickle in. It is likely that we will have conclusive results in the North Carolina on election night, as it is their policy to count early votes and mail-in ballots as they come in. Stick with the Conard Courant for continued coverage as results come in from North Carolina.