For the last few months all eyes have been North Carolina, as political observers across the country waited to see which way our swing state would swing. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent in the state over the last few months, including the most expensive US Senate race in the country’s history. But at the end of the day, not much changed in North Carolina after this week’s election. North Carolina once again voted for President Donald Trump, Senator Thom Tillis was reelected to another term, Governor Roy Cooper was elected to another term, and Republicans retained control of both chamber of the North Carolina General Assembly.
Below are the preliminary election results. In North Carolina absentee by-mail ballots postmarked by election day will still be counted as long as they are received by November 12th, and the State Board of Elections has announced that the universe of absentee by-mail ballots that could still be counted is approximately 116,000. In addition, there are more than 40,000 outstanding provisional ballots that must still be researched to determine voter eligibility. All of that means that the margins of victory in a number of these races are likely to change slightly, but with one notable exception the outcomes are not likely to change. The only statewide race where the outstanding votes could realistically change the outcome is the race for Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. In that race Justice Paul Newby currently leads Chief Justice Cheri Beasley by 3,742 votes.
President: President Donald Trump (R) is ahead of former Vice-President Joe Biden (D) by a margin of 49.98% to 48.57%.
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Senator Thom Tillis (R) is ahead of challenger Cal Cunningham (D) by a margin of 48.73% to 46.94%.
Governor: Incumbent Governor Roy Cooper (D) is ahead of Lt. Governor Dan Forest (R) by a margin of 51.48% to 47.06%.
North Carolina General Assembly
In the Senate Republican’s currently hold a 29R-21D majority, meaning Democrats needed to net 4 seats for a 25-25 tie, and net 5 seats to take a majority. Based on the preliminary results, it appears that Democrats have netted 1 seat, so the new margin is likely to be 28R-22D. Democrats picked up two seats that had new district lines in Wake and Mecklenburg Counties. In Wake County, Democrat Sarah Crawford won Senate District 18, a seat previously held by Senator John Alexander (R). In Mecklenburg County, Democrat DeAndrea Salvador won a seat previously held by Senator Rob Bryan (R). However Democrats also lost one seat, as incumbent Senator Harper Peterson (D) lost in a rematch with former Senator Michael Lee (R) in New Hanover County.
In the House of Representatives Republicans currently hold 65R-55D majority, meaning Democrats needed to net 5 seats for a 60-60 tie, and net 6 seats to take a majority. Based on the preliminary results, it appears that Republicans actually gained a net of 4 seats, meaning they will now hold a 69R-51D majority. Democratic incumbents who lost their races include: Rep. Sydney Batch of Wake County, Rep. Ray Russell of Watauga County, Rep. Scott Brewer of Richmond County, Rep. Christy Clark of Mecklenburg County, and Rep. Joe Sam Queen of Haywood County. Republicans also lost two incumbents, including Rep. Steve Ross of Alamance County, and Rep. Perrin Jones of Pitt County.
Council of State
Lt. Governor: Mark Robinson (R) is ahead of Rep. Yvonne Holley (D) by a margin of 51.66% to 48.34%.
Attorney General: Incumbent Attorney General Josh Stein (D) is ahead of challenger Jim O’Neill (R) by a margin of 50.1% to 49.9%.
Secretary of State: Incumbent Elaine Marshall (D) is ahead of challenger E.C. Sykes (R) by a margin of 51.14% to 48.86%
Auditor: Incumbent Beth Wood (D) is ahead of challenger Tony Street (R) by a margin of 50.85% to 49.15%.
Treasurer: Incumbent Dale Folwell (R) is ahead of challenger Ronnie Chatterji (D) by a margin of 52.6% to 47.4%.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Catherine Truitt (R) is ahead of Jen Mangrum (D) by a margin of 51.4% to 48.6%.
Commissioner of Agriculture: Incumbent Steve Troxler (R) is ahead of challenger Jenna Wadsworth (D) by a margin of 53.89% to 46.11%.
Commissioner of Labor: Josh Dobson (R) is ahead of Jessica Holmes (D) by a margin of 50.86% to 49.14%.
Commissioner of Insurance: Incumbent Mike Causey (R) is ahead of challenger Wayne Goodwin (D) by a margin of 51.78% to 48.22%.
For additional information on North Carolina’s election results, and to learn more about what to expect from the 2021 legislative session, please plan to join our Flash Briefing at 8:30 AM EDT on Wednesday, December 2. Invitation and registration details will be posted shortly.