Democrats in North Carolina found themselves in an unusual position at the start of 2013: in the state government’s political minority.
This year saw the emergence of a conservative political landscape not seen in the state for decades — Republicans’ dominance in the 2010 and 2012 elections gave them control of both chambers in the N.C. General Assembly and the governor’s mansion.
As recently as two decades ago, Democrats held majorities in all 22 legislative chambers in the Southern states, said John Dinan, a Wake Forest University political science professor, in an email.
Year in Review 2013
This is part of The Daily Tar Heel’s year in review for 2013. See all stories.
Now, Dinan said, the party no longer controls any Southern state’s House or Senate, and only two of the states have Democratic governors.
Emboldened by a smaller possibility of vetoes standing in the way, the N.C. GOP took off running once the session began in January, enacting sweeping changes affecting public education, taxes, voting and abortion, and rejecting Medicaid expansion.