RALEIGH – Just because the state is still waiting to call the presidential race (or several others), that doesn’t mean honest observers cannot see the writing on the wall. For all the talk of Joe Biden’s projected victory, Republicans really outperformed across the country, and North Carolina was no exception.
Why? Enthusiasm, ground game, and elbow grease. The Carolina Journal‘s Rick Henderson points out just how effective Republicans’ get out the vote efforts were.
“[…] At the NCFREE event, political consultant Brad Crone, whose clients include Democrats and Republicans, praised the GOP ground game.
“The Republican turnout operation [was] so more disciplined, so more defined, than anything the Democrats have been able to muster in the [past] 10 years. It was really impressive how Republicans target their voters, look at their base, look at persuadable voters. They got out and mobilized, communicated with them through digital, through mail, through television and cable. Then [they] went out and knocked on doors and followed up with them.”
On Election Day, Trump faced a 211,000-vote deficit as polling places opened. When they closed at 7:30, the president had a 77,000-vote lead.
Tillis had a smaller gap to close — starting the day down 166,000 votes while winning by 97,000. […]
David McLennan, professor of political science at Meredith College and director of the Meredith Poll, told Carolina Journal he was surprised that Republicans were much more excited than Democrats to cast ballots.
“Republican enthusiasm appeared to exceed that of Democrats. Polling averages suggested that Republicans were going to have difficulty winning statewide races, but President Trump’s support set the tone for down ballot races as Republican candidates outperformed expectations. This also pointed to the [get-out-the-vote] efforts by Republican campaigns and the N.C. Republican Party. The fundraising and expenditure advantage of Democrats was offset by the excellent field work of Republicans,” McLennan said.
The GOP’s congressional delegation also held its own. In 2018, Republicans won 10 of 13 congressional districts. But Democrats won lawsuits claiming the districts were unfair to minority voters. New maps were drawn in congressional and legislative districts.
The process was open and bipartisan. But the districts were Democrat-friendly.
So friendly that two incumbent Republicans — 2nd District Rep. George Holding and 6th District Rep. Mark Walker — walked away, refusing to file for new terms in less-comfortable districts.
Republicans left the seats available for credible Democrats to win, and they did. Former U.S. Senate nominee and state Sen. Deborah Ross won the 2nd District. Greensboro philanthropist and progressive activist Kathy Manning, who lost a close 2018 race in the nearby 13th District, won the newest version of the 6th.
But those were the only Democratic pickups. […]”
What’s more, is the Republicans maintained solid majorities in the state legislature, and the Council of State. All told, this is hardly an election result that gives Hard Left Democrats some sort of mandate. Quite the contrary.
Yet, after years of Republicans being outdone when it comes to GOTV, ground games, enthusiasm, and more recent troubles for the NCGOP as an organization, this performance is encouraging.
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Read more about how Republicans outworked Democrats in North Carolina, here.