A combination of the overturning of the Republican gerrymander and Trump’s unpopularity could flip up to 4 House seats to Democrats in North Carolina.
The Princeton Election Consortium found some interesting data in North Carolina:
Disapproval of Trump has hit North Carolina particularly hard. In four Congressional districts where polls are available – the 2nd, the 7th, the 9th, and the 13th – opinion has swung 12 to 23 points toward the Democrats compared with Clinton-Trump 2016. These are districts in which Trump won 53-56% of the vote. For comparison, under the racial gerrymander, in 2012 Romney won the closest four Republican districts with 55-56% of the vote. So the racial gerrymandering decision may have lowered the threshold for flipping districts by several percentage points.
In polls, Democrats are competitive in all four districts: D+1%, D+4%, tie, and R+3%, respectively. To sum up: if any of these seats flips on November 6th, it will be thanks to a combination of federal court action and a blue wave of popular opinion.
Trump Could Cost Republicans House Seats In North Carolina
Democrats only need to pick up 23 seats to win control of the House. The new map in North Carolina combined could net two additional House seats in North Carolina, and 4-6 in Pennsylvania. A quarter or more of the seats that Democrats need could come from two court rulings one state (Pennsylvania) and one federal (North Carolina) throwing out gerrymandered maps.
Getting rid of gerrymandered maps is half of the equation. The other shoe to drop on Republicans is Trump’s unpopularity. For a midterm election, Trump’s approval rating is meaningless because these elections are contested at the state and district levels. If Trump is doing poorly in districts where there is an incumbent Republican, that has a direct impact on the midterm election in a way that national approval numbers can’t measure.
The media attempts to nationalize midterms in each cycle but midterm elections are a series of state and local contests. Looking at them in any other way is a recipe for failure.
Trump is going to cost the Republican Party seats. His national barnstorming tour is only serving to remind voters of why they are going to vote Democratic in a couple of weeks. As we can see in North Carolina, Trump isn’t saving the GOP. He’s sinking it.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association