Choose your state House and Senate districts in the dashboards below to compare candidates using information from leading conservative groups in North Carolina. Unsure what district number you live in? View your sample ballot on Ballotpedia here.
The 2020 election is less than a month away, and anyone who doesn’t live under a rock is being bombarded with information from national candidates. The races for president, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House draw a lot of money and media coverage, especially in the battleground state of North Carolina.
Despite being lower-profile than their national counterparts, state legislative races can actually have a more direct impact on the lives of North Carolinians. It is vital for voters to be informed on these down-ballot races.
To that end, the Civitas Institute presents the following candidate profile dashboards for two chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly.
The dashboards contain information on all candidates for all 50 state Senate races and 120 state House races as well as information about each legislative district. The maps represent the Civitas Partisan Index, which you can learn more about here. The dashboards also display which party controls the district and current legislators. Use Ballotpedia’s Sample Ballot tool to find your legislative district numbers (note that they may have changed from previous years due to redistricting).
The candidate profiles present voters with a collection of metrics from the state’s leading conservative groups. This includes free-market, family values, and gun-rights organizations. The metrics consist of legislative rankings or survey responses.
Some metrics are applicable to all candidates, regardless of incumbent status, because they are calculated through survey responses. These metrics include:
- NRA Grade – The grade from the National Rifle Association is based on a candidate survey as well as the performance of incumbent legislators on issues related to Second Amendment rights. For more information about the NRA grades, visit https://www.nrapvf.org/grades/north-carolina/ and view “What the Grades Mean.” NOTE: Third party candidates are not listed on the NRA site.
- North Carolina Coalition for Charter Schools Candidate Survey – State legislative (and Council of State) candidates were given the opportunity to answer questions related the regulation of charter schools in North Carolina. The full questionnaire and candidate responses can be found here: https://nc.chartercoalition.org/candidate-survey-responses/
The other metrics are only applicable to incumbent candidates since they are calculated based on the candidate’s legislative record. These metrics include:
- Civitas Action Freedom Rankings – The 2019-2020 Biennium Freedom Rankings are a product of Civitas Action, sister organization of the Civitas Institute. The Freedom Rankings are the culmination of the most freedom-centered votes from the legislative session. Full rankings and methodology is found at www.civitasaction.org.
- NC Free Enterprise Legislative Business Ratings – According to the NC Free Enterprise Foundation website, their Legislative Business Ratings can be interpreted as: “The closer the rating is to 100, the more aligned with the principles of free enterprise that legislator was during the 2019 Long Session of the NC General Assembly.” Full ratings and methodology can be found at https://ncfree.org/research/2019-legislative-business-ratings/.
- American Conservative Union Foundation Ratings – The ACU Foundation Ratings for 2019 grade state legislators on issues related to conservative values in the state legislative session. Full ratings and methodology can be found at http://acuratings.conservative.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2019/09/CLA_North-Carolina_2019_web.pdf.
A link to the candidate survey responses from the North Carolina Family Policy Council is included in the dashboard; their survey responses are not aggregated into individual scores, but can be viewed in their comprehensive report here or their sample ballot here.
While these profiles highlight resources from North Carolina’s conservative groups, left-leaning groups also produce resources for voters to research legislative candidates. Some examples include Red4EdNC’s Legislative Report Card or the NC League of Conservation Voters Legislative Scorecard.
For questions or corrections to the dashboards, please contact Civitas Policy Analyst Leah Byers at firstname.lastname@example.org