As most of the country is zeroed in on the results of the presidential election, let’s not forget the races closer to home.
There was a lot on the ballot on Tuesday. In addition to president, North Carolinians cast their votes for a slew of state officials this year — including governor, U.S. Senate, Council of State races and the N.C. General Assembly.
In the weeks leading up to Election Day, the polls looked promising. But ultimately, the outcome wasn't as blue as many had hoped — in fact, it was nearly the opposite. With Republicans winning a significant number of down-ballot races, it appears North Carolina politics will be as divided as ever, with several more years of gridlock sure to come.
As the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer editorial board wrote, “North Carolina didn’t get a blue wave. It got a red reminder.”
Sen. Thom Tillis is poised to win his reelection race, weakening Democrats’ chances of flipping the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, unofficial results show Republicans leading in six of the 10 Council of State seats, as well as nearly all of the judicial seats.
There wasn’t much good news in the state legislature, either. After breaking the veto-proof supermajority in 2018, Democrats hoped to pick up some more seats in the N.C. General Assembly in 2020. While Democrats will add one member to the N.C. Senate, according to unofficial results, the GOP majority in the House is expected to increase by four.
The stakes were high this year. With these majorities, Republicans will be able to redraw congressional and legislative districts for the next decade based on new data from the 2020 census.
It may not be the result that many of us hoped for — but it’s not a total loss, either. Margins in both chambers still fall short of a veto-proof supermajority. And with Gov. Roy Cooper emerging victorious in his reelection campaign, future legislation will likely require at least some degree of bipartisan support.
Despite all of the bad, however, there was still some good news.