WASHINGTON, D.C. – After North Carolina received more attention during a presidential election in 2016 than in any other campaign season in recent memory, it may come as no surprise that the Old North State is expected to be turning point battleground in 2020.
From The Hill:
“The only thing that 2016 showed us is that North Carolina remains in play for both parties. In 2020, a presidential campaign trying to reach 270 electoral votes cannot afford to ignore North Carolina. This will be especially true in a year where Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Sen. Thom Tillis will both be on the ballot in their first reelection bids. Cooper will attempt to be the first North Carolina governor reelected since Democrat Mike Easley in 2004. Tillis will stand for reelection in a seat that has historically been a revolving door of one term senators, including popular figures such as Republican Elizabeth Dole and Democrat Kay Hagan.
The national parties and independent expenditure groups will zero in on these two races as they will be among the most hotly contested and expensive in the nation. Their focus will be squarely on North Carolina. This was certainly true in 2016 when Clinton and Trump essentially took up residency in the state. A week did not pass without one of their candidates or their surrogates barnstorming across North Carolina. Groups like Emily’s List poured resources to support Democrat Deborah Ross in her Senate race while the Human Rights Campaign put its efforts into defeating Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. Television ads heavily concentrated in North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania accounted for much of the $70 million that the NRA spent in 2016.”
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Cooper and Tillis will likely have similar impediments to re-election: They fight for nonsensical liberal causes way too much.
Tillis barely edged out incumbent Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan in a race that a Republican should have walked away with considering Hagan’s baggage and the fact that the only thing that put her in that seat to begin with was how firmly her feet were planted on Barack Obama’s coattails during the 2008 race.
“North Carolina remains an evenly divided state. Unaffiliated voters moved past Republicans into second place on the registration lists this year. Voters are sending the signal that they want fresh faces, new ideas and politicians who will speak to their needs. This all adds up to a recipe for yet another electoral cycle focused on North Carolina.
This trend likely will not end anytime soon. Based on population projections, the state may gain an additional electoral vote after the 2020 presidential election. So, my fellow North Carolinians, be careful when you stop in for lunch at your favorite barbecue joint, the next president of the United States may very well be in there shaking hands and kissing babies.”
While unaffiliated voters have undeniably been the fastest growing segment in North Carolina, it is important to note that those that choose to sever their ties to one of the two main political parties do not at the same time abandon the principles that dictate which ticket they pull in the voting booth.
Often new independents feel their previous party left them; not the other way around. With the performance of D.C. Republicans over the last decade or so, it is not unreasonable to assume many unaffiliated voters are actually conservatives that de-registered in protest of the ‘Sell Out’ RNC and Establishment RINOs.
Thom ‘Traitor’ Tillis will likely have to answer to voters that justifiably feel the same way about him.
As for Cooper, he won’t have the benefit of the ‘R’ beside his name to deflect conservative attacks from a likely opponent in current Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. Cooper’s persistent forays into the swamp of class warfare and progressive social causes will be large targets for any challenger.
Forest’s conservative bona fides are solid and he offers voters a man of principle in ways that McCrory never could.
North Carolina will be a battleground in 2020, for sure, but that doesn’t mean the battle won’t end in a decisive victory for conservatives and freedom.