PEMBROKE – The Ninth District is home to demographic voting block unique to south eastern North Carolina – the Lumbee. The State recognized Lumbee Tribe of Native Americans emanates from the Lumberton/Robeson County area and represents a huge cultural and political block in that region, particularly the Ninth Congressional District.
As such, both campaigns in this special election are giving special attention to getting out the Lumbee vote for their candidate. Historically supportive of Democrats, still maintaining Democratic representation in the N.C. General Assembly, the Lumbee swung hard toward Trump in 2016. Traditionally conservative values may be pointing many to the Republicans as Democrats have lurched radically Left. The tug-o-war for this influential voting block continues to play out Tuesday, election day.
From the Hill:
“The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is making a last-minute, five-figure investment in a get-out-the-vote ad targeting the Lumbee community, a committee official told The Hill.
And McCready has swung through Robeson County, a decidedly rural county in the southern-most reaches of the 9th District where much of the Lumbee community is based, in the days leading up to the election.
The Lumbee, a tribe of about 55,000 enrolled members, have historically cast their votes for Democratic candidates. But President Trump carried Robeson County by roughly 4 points in 2016, and Bishop and his allies argue that the Lumbees have become more inclined to vote Republican.
“They like President Trump, they have very traditional conservative values, they are opposed to abortion on demand, they are serious about the protection of the Second Amendment, they support the president in terms of regaining control of our southern border,” Bishop said in an interview with The Hill.
“Those are all things that I agree with and support and will aggressively pursue, and Dan McCready will not take a position that’s consistent with what they believe.” […]”
While Bishop boasts alignment with Lumbee values, McCready panders to tribal politics involving federal recognition (which the Lumbee have struggled to get).
Of course, the Lumbee are, like any large group, not a homogeneous block of political archetypes. Naturally there exists a spectrum across which Lumbee find themselves politically for reasons much like any other person, family upbringing and community values. As such the vote will split one way or another, but Bishop and McCready are working to earn the support of those with the largest tribal influence to make sure the split is in their favor.
With the influential Lumbee vote becoming more contested, and more elections right around the corner, the tribe can likely expect the political attention to continue.
Read more about the Lumbee vote in this special election, and their push for federal recognition here.