Democrats eye North Carolina as 2024 opportunity: report

 October 16, 2023

As the race for the White House heats up, Democrats are setting their sights on North Carolina, a swing state that Republicans have won the last few election cycles.

With demographic shifts making the state more urban and Latino, Democrats are seeing opportunities, the Hill reports.

Dems eye NC

Democrats have not carried the state in a presidential election since Barack Obama won it by a hair in 2008. President Trump won the state by less than 2 points in 2020.

Governor Roy Cooper (D) is a pro-choice liberal. The lieutenant governor, Mark Robinson, is an ardent conservative and defender of Biblical marriage.

Robinson is seeking to replace Cooper, who is term limited. Republican strategist Doug Heye said he is concerned that Robinson's provocative comments, including remarks describing transgenderism as Satanic, could hurt the party.

"The lesson or the takeaway should be this is going to be a close state and should not be taken for granted,” he said. “In the state, I think people get that. Nationally, they don’t get it at all.”

Demographic change opens doors

Political strategists in both parties say population growth in cities like Raleigh and Charlotte have made North Carolina more purple.

Democratic strategist Douglas Wilson said it's critical for Democrats to establish a campaign operation early in the state, something Obama did in 2008.

"I do expect a lot more attention here than in the past, not to say we didn’t get attention in the past, but it’s probably going to be much more intense in 2024," Wilson said.

Democrats took back Midwestern swing states in 2020 that were critical to Trump's 2016 victory - Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin - while turning Arizona and Georgia blue for the first time in decades.

Some Democrats are optimistic that changing demographics because of Hispanic immigration - a trend playing out nationwide, especially in southern states near the border - will flip North Carolina blue.

Gabe Esparza, a Democratic candidate for state treasurer, bragged that Democrats only need a few thousand immigrants to win control of the state.

“The reality is in North Carolina that we don’t need hundreds of thousands or millions of Latinos to vote to win. We just need a few extra thousand, let alone a few extra hundred, because of how close the races always are,” he said.

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