This State Could Decide the Presidential Election

Election 2024

( – North Carolina is gearing up to be a key battleground state to watch in the 2024 presidential race, with both major political parties anticipating a tight contest. Democrats see a chance to flip the state to their favor, given its history of close races.

Although North Carolina has consistently been competitive, Democrats have typically had better luck in the state’s gubernatorial races, while Republicans have dominated federal contests. Both parties acknowledge that the 2024 race will likely be highly contested.

It’s no secret that North Carolina is considered a swing state. Former President Obama won it in 2008, but Republicans secured victories in the next three presidential elections. Democratic strategist Douglas Wilson attributes the state’s evolving political landscape to rapid urban growth, suggesting North Carolina is “trending purple.” However, he stressed that early engagement with voters is essential, using Obama’s 2008 campaign as an example of effective early groundwork.

The Biden campaign has signaled intentions to include North Carolina in their electoral strategy. A campaign memo released earlier hinted at this, and a campaign spokesperson confirmed their view, stating the state will be competitive and that they will invest “early and accordingly.”

Republican strategist Doug Heye emphasized the significance of growing urban centers like Charlotte and Raleigh, warning his party against complacency. Drawing on recent elections, Heye remarked, “The lesson or the takeaway should be this is going to be a close state and should not be taken for granted.”

Heye also shared concerns about potential Republican nominees, particularly Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who has a history of making controversial remarks that could alienate voters. Robinson’s previous statements have included derogatory comments about various groups. Although Robinson has attempted to clarify or retract some of these remarks, Heye believes these controversies could complicate the Republican campaign.

Meanwhile, another Republican strategist, Jonathan Felts, believes that despite financial challenges, the GOP has been successful in the state. Using Gov. Roy Cooper’s elections as examples, Felts underscored the importance of a message supporting working families.

Cynthia Wallace, co-founder of the New Rural Project, highlighted the potential impact of engaging rural voters, particularly voters of color. Unlike states such as Georgia, which was flipped blue through urban engagement, North Carolina’s predominantly rural makeup necessitates a different strategy. Wallace stressed the importance of reaching out to these typically overlooked communities.

Gabe Esparza, a Democratic state treasurer candidate, highlighted the state’s rapidly growing Latino population as a potential game-changer for Democrats. He believes connecting with and mobilizing this community can tip the balance in close races. Given the rising Latino youth population, Esparza expects a surge in eligible Latino voters in the near future.