Gerry Mander is not as strong as he was:
The GOP’s current 10-3 advantage relied on concentrating Democratic voters into some districts and splitting Democratic strongholds in others, a strategy known as “cracking and packing.” North Carolina’s new districts, now much more unpacked and uncracked than the previous iteration, all but assures a two-seat Democratic gain in districts centered in the Triangle and Triad, making the partisan split at least 8-5.
Whether the outcome this year stays 8-5 or results in further gains for Democrats hinges on a presidential race in a state with shifting demographics and a history of bouncing between parties on top of the ticket races.
Picking up (at least) two more seats in our Congressional Delegation is something positive to chew on these days. But I get an even bigger warm fuzzy knowing that North Carolina is actively defending or even growing the Democratic majority in the U.S. House. We are moving progress forward, not just helplessly watching from the fringe. That two seat gain is a victory we shouldn't take for granted, even if we fall short on these (three) other seats:
Chris Cooper, Professor of Political Science at Western Carolina University, said most of the redrawn districts are still locked in, but three are close enough to not count out as upsets if Joe Biden wins the state.
“The presidential race won’t matter in the lion’s share of the congressional races in North Carolina, precisely because the lion’s share are shoe-ins for one party or the other,” Cooper said in a recent interview.
“But if Biden has a big night statewide, his coattails will lift the tide of Democrats in the three potentially moveable districts — 8, 9 and 11.”
The larger Biden’s margin of victory, Cooper said, the more likely they are to flip.
It is also critical that we retake at least one of the Legislative chambers, because redistricting is almost upon us again. But here's the thing: If we do flip both the NC Senate and NC House, we need to move briskly to establish a non-partisan redistricting apparatus. It should no longer be a question of "should we," just the how's and what's. The temptation to make sure Republicans never take control again is strong, but we must be stronger.