Ah, North Carolina, lean-red battleground state that we win only when we don’t need it. Or put another way, if we’ve gotten North Carolina in a presidential contest, we already got everything else we need to win.
It doesn’t have to be that way. By demographics, North Carolina is a lean-blue to blue state. And as of now, it’s the only realistic pickup opportunity for Joe Biden in 2024. He only lost it by a single point in 2020. The next closest state was Florida—a three-point loss, but trending against us. The third closest loss? Texas, at about 5.5%. It drops off steeply after that—Ohio and Iowa were both eight-point losses, then South Carolina at nearly 12 points.
On the other hand, we have to defend close victories in Georgia (0.23%), Arizona (0.3%), Wisconsin (0.6%), Pennsylvania (1.16%), Nevada (2.39%), and Michigan (2.78%). (Following that there’s a big dropoff to Minnesota’s 7% victory). Republicans have a lot of places to claw back electoral votes, we realistically have North Carolina. Florida isn’t going to be determinative for the Democrats anytime soon. It would be a nice “cherry on top” to have, but if we win it, we’ve won everything else we need to win.
North Carolina is a different story. It’s very feasible we lose Georgia (16 electoral votes) or Arizona (11 electoral votes), and we make it up with North Carolina’s 16 electoral votes. It’s not a “nice to have” state, it’s a “we have to fight hard for it” state. Luckily for us, local Republicans are doing everything possible to give Democrats a fighting chance.
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