Raleigh – North Carolina Democrats had an impressive 2018 midterms, with key wins at the top of the ticket and in districts across the state that went rightward just two years ago. Facing some of the worst gerrymandered district lines in the country, maps that have been repeatedly (including less than a week ago) ruled unconstitutional, North Carolina Democrats met and exceeded expectations on election night.
Here’s what North Carolina Democrats accomplished:
Broke the Supermajority in the House and the Senate. This was our goal from day one – bring balance back to Raleigh and help Governor Cooper raise teacher pay, protect our water, and expand health care access. We accomplished that goal.
Flipped 10 “Trump Districts” – Legislative Seats President Trump Won in 2016. In an unpredictable and deeply polarized electorate that increasingly mirrors presidential contests, Democrats made deep inroads across the state in districts that President Trump won. Democrats flipped HD 35, HD 36, HD 37, HD 93, HD 98, HD 119, SD 9, SD 17, SD 19, SD 27 (another “Trump district” – HD 103 – remains too close to call).Flipping that many “Trump districts” is a monumental accomplishment. For comparison, last year, VA Governor Ralph Northam won by 9 points yet at the legislative level, Democrats only won seats won by Clinton – not a single district was a “Trump district.”
Swept Statewide Judicial Contests, Including Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls. Democrats now hold a crucial 5-2 balance on the state’s highest court through at least 2022, acting as a bulwark against future racial and partisan gerrymanders from an out of control legislature.
Defeated Two Dangerous Constitutional Amendments. Each amendment began the cycle polling popularly, yet a bipartisan campaign defeated each. These amendments would have undermined our separation of powers and tipped the balance of power of Raleigh towards a rigged legislature – and were resoundingly rejected.
Facing a system designed to elect Republicans, Democrats did the opposite. Heavily gerrymandered maps, deceptive amendments, numerous efforts to rig our judicial contests – Republicans have tried repeatedly to rig the system against Democrats and left-leaning voters. Despite those headwinds, Democrats had an impressive midterm election that will reshift the balance of power in Raleigh.
“Last night was a good night to be a North Carolina Democrat,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “Democrats accomplished what we set out to do more than a year ago: break the supermajority and bring balance back to Raleigh. On top of that, we won a monumental Supreme Court race, elected several new justices to the bench, and beat back two dangerous and desperate power grabs from the Republican legislature. We had an impressive night that will reverberate through the state for years to come.”