The latest Civitas Poll reinforces what pretty much everybody already knows, North Carolina will be a key battleground state in 2020.
Below you can listen to an interview I did this morning with the Tyler Cralle Show in Wilmington. One of the first points I make, despite Donald Trump winning North Carolina by almost 3.7 percent, is that North Carolina is perhaps becoming more of a swing state than Florida and Ohio.
Of course, those two states have traditionally been held up as the quintessential swing states in presidential races. But Florida has been trending Republican in recent elections and even saw the political demise of longterm Florida Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson during the midterm. According to polls, Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum was supposed to defeat Republican Ron DeSantis but narrowly lost. In fact, Florida hasn’t elected a Democrat governor since Lawton Childs who defeated Jeb Bush in 1994. Buddy MacKay briefly served as governor after the death of Childs but was promptly defeated by Bush in 1998.
Trump trounced Clinton in Ohio by just over 8 points and in 2018, Mike DeWine pulled out a come from behind victory over Democrat Richard Cordray. Besides Ted Strickland’s one term as governor in Ohio (2007 – 2011), the state hasn’t had a Democrat governor since Dick Celeste in the mid-1980s.
Coming out of the gate, North Carolina is the best model nationally as a swing state for 2020. Of course, politics is fickle and fluid, so a lot can change. Will Democrat primary voters resist the temptation to keep going hard Left to broaden their national appeal?
North Carolina is changing rapidly with the influx of new voters, particularly packed into urban areas. While it still has one of the highest rural populations per capita in the entire country, it remains a challenging state for Republicans. Our polls will continue to track the trends in a rapidly changing state.