Jul 18, 2012
State of Play in North Carolina
Despite partisan gerrymandering, North Carolina Democrats are well positioned to win in November. In no state in the nation have Republicans claimed bigger opportunities, but with strong Democratic incumbents who survived the wave against them in 2010 and weak Republican candidates with failed records, their dreams are coming to a screeching halt.
Larry Kissell (NC-08) and Mike McIntyre (NC-07) are both battle-tested and won support from Democrats, Independents and Republicans in order to survive the tough 2010 election wave. In addition, in NC-11, Hayden Rogers has the right kind of mountain values and will build on the successful track record of Congressman Heath Shuler who remains well-respected across the district.
North Carolina Congressional Republicans nominated flawed candidates who offer new voters nothing other than lockstep support for a special interest agenda in Washington that would drastically cut Medicare while protecting tax breaks for millionaires and companies that ship jobs overseas.
The battle lines in both NC-07 and NC-08 are now clear: independent-minded Democrats versus Republican lobbyists and Washington insiders with an out-of-touch agenda.
Ultimately, these Democratic Members like Kissell and McIntyre are in a fundamentally stronger position than Republican incumbents are this election cycle. The most recent Battleground poll by Democracy Corps surveyed the 28 most competitive Republican and 23 most competitive Democratic districts across the country. The poll, which included races in NC, found that the most vulnerable Republicans are -2 (30–32 percent) in favorability while the most vulnerable Democrats are +20 (43-23 percent), meaning that threatened Democratic incumbents are in a much stronger position to win than are the vulnerable Republicans.
In addition, recent polls have shown that Democrats lead in the congressional generic ballot — voters support a Democratic candidate for Congress over a Republican candidate.
Democratic Incumbents Well Positioned to Win
- NC-07 — Mike McIntyre has carved out a reputation as an independent leader with Eastern North Carolina values. In one of the toughest election cycles of a generation, McIntyre defeated the nationally recruited candidate by more than 7 points because Independents and Republicans know McIntyre will work for North Carolina families and senior citizens — not Washington special interests, big corporations or companies that ship jobs overseas. After having his best fundraising quarter to date, McIntyre entered July with a 6:1 cash-on-hand advantage against lobbyist David Rouzer who is a deeply flawed candidate with a long history of defending special interest and big corporations. During his primary campaign, Rouzer’s own opponent highlighted his irresponsible spending in the state house, voting to raise the gas tax and other controversial positions.
- NC-08 — Larry Kissell, a former mill worker and teacher, has been an independent voice for North Carolina families who has worked across party lines to create jobs by cutting wasteful spending, lowering taxes on small businesses, and fighting policies that ship jobs overseas. Despite the Republican tidal wave of 2010, Kissell won re-election by nearly 10 points. Kissell enters July with at least a 3:1 cash-on-hand advantage against Washington insider Richard Hudson. Hudson’s Republican opponent even criticized him for being too close to special interests and “part of the problem” with Washington.
Hayden Rogers Can Defeat His Republican Opponent
- NC-11 — Born and raised in Western North Carolina, Hayden Rogers can defeat Mark Meadows in November. As the former chief of staff to Representative Heath Shuler and a small business owner, Rogers has a track record of creating jobs, meeting a payroll and balancing a budget. Hayden Rogers faces an out-of-touch opponent, Mark Meadows, who has been busy playing partisan politics and embracing fringe conspiracies instead of focusing on getting the economy back on track. Despite entering the race in February, Rogers has raised over twice as much as Mark Meadows, and Meadows has only $33,000 cash-on-hand at the end of June.