How Democrats can reclaim North Carolina government

Moral Mondays are turning public opinion against Republicans.

Moral Mondays are turning public opinion against Republicans.

I’m not going to kid you. If your goal is to win our state back from the reckless Republicans who run it now, there’s no easy path. But in response to the No. 1 question people ask me, the answer is yes. There is a path. And it begins in Wake County.

But first, let’s understand the challenge.

Awhile back, I said to a dour Democrat that it seemed likely the Republicans would remain in power in North Carolina for 10 years because of how they gerrymandered the election districts. But the Democrats will have an opening after the 2020 census, assuming that a Democrat is elected governor in 2020.

More like 20 or 30 years, the dour Democrat replied. Remember, he said, the governor has no veto power over redistricting bills. The Republicans will keep winning the General Assembly because they draw the districts. And they’ll keep drawing the districts—in 2020 and in 2030—because they keep winning.

True. After they won in 2010, the Republicans drew districts that allowed them, despite winning barely half the votes in the 2012 elections, to gain a 33-17 majority in the Senate and 77-43 in the House.

There is no shortcut to reclaim the state via the election of a Democratic or independent governor, though winning the governor’s office in 2016 will be critical. About that, the dour Democrat was correct. But after combing through the 2012 results, I think he was wrong about the next 10 years.

The challenge for the Democrats is to win control of the Senate or House by 2020, allowing them to negotiate the next redistricting with the Republicans. Ideally, the Republicans will lose both houses … or stop being radical reactionaries.

Here’s the way.


h/t Eric D

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