Campaign sees N.C. key to victoryBy Cash Michaels, Peacemaker Senior Contributor / August 2, 2023
If a story in last week’s Politico is any indication, Pres. Biden ’s re-election campaign sees winning North Carolina as key to its 2024 victory.
The report titled “Biden looks to put North Carolina on the ’24 map” states, “…Biden’s team sees opportunity in [North Carolina] in 2024 amid a fresh abortion ban, a contentious, expensive gubernatorial race and steady population growth that has ballooned urban and suburban areas.”
The story goes on to say, “State and local party leaders are pointing to North Carolina as the next Arizona or Georgia for Democrats. They’re calling on the Biden campaign and DNC (Democratic National Committee) to invest heavily in the state because without [North Carolina, those leaders] say, Republicans don’t have a path to the White House.”
If all of the above is true, that means the most loyal base of the Democratic Party in North Carolina, namely the African American community, must be ignited and involved at the polls if Pres. Biden and Democrats expect to win. And that has to happen in both urban and rural areas of the state.
Already, the marquee race of the 2024 elections in North Carolina is slowly but surely shaping up between the most likely Republican gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, and a Democratic opponent, which right now looks like state Attorney General Josh Stein.
Both men are favored to overcome primary opposition next March, so their likely face-off would certainly help draw a strong turnout to the polls during a presidential year. A Civitas poll in May has Robinson with a one percent lead over Stein.
But the question remains, “Can Stein energize the Black Democratic vote against a fiery Black Republican culture warrior who is assured to get some of the Black vote just because he stands to make history? And depending on who the Republican presidential nominee is, will the Biden-Harris Democratic ticket be strong enough if the GOP ticket is Trump (who is currently leading in the polls) and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who is currently running for the nomination, but could be a viable vice presidential candidate to directly counter Kamala Harris?
There is much that is unknown here, but this much is clear – North Carolina is going to require lots of money to help get the vote out, and strong Democratic Party organizational support to ensure that voters, both urban and rural, indeed show up at the polls. Republicans have now mastered the art of door-to-door campaigning, as they did in 2020. Democrats will have to do likewise.
And Democrats have the incentive. Pres. Biden lost North Carolina to Donald Trump by only 1.4 percent in 2020. That deficit can be made up with more resources and smarter organization on the ground. Combine those two with a target of delivering more African Americans and young people to the polls, and Democrats could win the state for Pres. Biden, and also usher in a new Democratic governor.
The key will be to not take anything, any competitive area of the state, any voting age population for granted.
The N.C. Democratic Party’s new chairwoman says she’s ready, traveling to all areas of the state, speaking to rural voters and young people at North Carolina colleges.
“All I can do is tell [national Democrats] that North Carolina is excited,” said NCDP Chair Anderson Clayton. “Honestly, we’re angry and energized…the energy on the ground is different.”
Gov. Roy Cooper agrees.
“I told the president that this investment is going to be critical to his reelection, and that I believe we can win this state for him.”