North Carolina 2020

Goal

Flip a chamber

Chamber Makeup

State Senate

21 Democrats

29 Republicans

State House

55 Democrats

65 Republicans

The Opportunity

The tides have been turning in North Carolina. In 2016, Democrat Roy Cooper was the only Democrat to win the governorship in a state that Trump won, and in 2018, North Carolinians came out in record numbers to reject the legislature’s extremism and break Republican supermajorities. The state is now in a perfect position to ride favorable electoral trends to the best possible outcome in both chambers. 

The Stakes

For six years, the majority in North Carolina ran unobstructed in implementing greatest hits of the corporatist, far right-wing playbook, sharpening the state’s partisan divide and hurting its citizens. These significant legislative gains of 2018 broke Republican supermajorities, but failed to break their penchant for political machinations and gerrymandering to keep their power intact.

  • Passed the most comprehensive voter suppression package in the country and one of the most extreme gerrymanders.

  • Passed the notorious H.B. 2 “bathroom bill”—that also prevents anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ North Carolinians.

  • Passed a regressive tax code that hurts poor families and helps rich business owners and corporations—while refusing to expand Medicaid to help 500,000 people access health insurance.

  • Blocked all efforts to create an independent redistricting commission, implement a livable wage, and reduce mass incarceration.

2020 Political Environment

  • In 2020, the entire House and Senate are up for election.

  • With the State Supreme Court now dominated by Democrats, a lawsuit seeking to implement fair districts has new momentum.

  • Popular Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is running for re-election in 2020 and will be working to ensure he finally has a legislature able to partner with him to improve lives.

  • In 2018:

    • Even under the current maps, Democrats broke a Republican supermajority and came close to flipping the State House, netting 10 seats and narrowing the Republican majority to 65-55.  And that was without a major statewide race driving turnout.

    • Future Now Fund endorsed all 12 Democrats who flipped Republican-held House seats in addition to the next three closest finishers.

    • Democrats made big gains in the State Senate too, narrowing the GOP margin to 29-21 and breaking the supermajority in that chamber as well.