“This seems to (be) playing out in virtually every race in North Carolina,” he said. “We will have a tremendous amount of work in order to find a productive path forward.”
Josef Dewberry, an N.C. State student who attended the McCrory election night event in Raleigh, said the race was so close that it would probably be decided by a coin toss.
“The whole HB2 thing has gotten people pretty riled up,” he said.
Mitch Kokai, spokesperson for the John Locke Foundation, said in an email everyone expected the race between McCrory and Cooper to be close.
“What no one predicted was that Republicans would make such major gains on the Council of State, possibly sweeping every Democrat away except Secretary of State Elaine Marshall,” he said. “Plus, it looks as if Republicans will maintain supermajorities in the General Assembly.”
Meanwhile, in the senate race, incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, was re-elected Tuesday night, triumphing over Democratic challenger Deborah Ross and looking likely to cement a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.
Burr won 51.12 percent of the popular vote compared to 45.33 percent for Ross.
Upon hearing of his re-election, Burr said his goal for his next term would be to put the American people back into the workforce.
“(I hope) to create jobs and keep Americans safe,” he said. “Hopefully repeal the Affordable Care Act and get an insurance plan in place that people can afford.”
Burr’s older sister, Debbie Burr, said she is proud of her brother and can’t wait for him to head back to the capitol.
“He went up there on a mission,” she said. “He went to Washington to make a difference and he made a difference.”
In her concession speech at the Democratic Party election night event in Raleigh, Ross said it was not the outcome she wanted, but she has no regrets.
“It’s been the election of a lifetime — serious, serious issues have been put out there and you’ve worked very, very hard,” she told the crowd.
Brenda Pollard, a delegate of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton who attended the Democratic Party event in Raleigh, said Burr did a great job campaigning as the incumbent.
“I’m disappointed because we wanted her to win the seat, but she has inspired a lot of people,” she said. “She is a leader, she has brought issues to the table that need to be addressed.”
Schofield said Burr was always the favorite and a Ross victory would have been a huge upset.
“That said, he clearly benefited from the large white and rural turnout for Trump — especially given that voters disagreed with many of his stances on the issues,” he said.
Ross said she does not see this as the end.
“I consider this an opportunity to inspire young people,” she said. “We’ve run a campaign I think we can be proud of and will inspire them.”
Burr said he was ready to return to work on Monday.