Decision 2020: Trump vs. Biden in North Carolina

Will Firman ’24

North Carolina Presidential Election Results 2016
North Carolina Presidential Election Results 2016. Ali Zifan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The state of North Carolina can pride itself on their barbecues, their beaches within the Outer Banks and their status as an election battleground. The future of the presidency of Donald Trump will be on the ballot tomorrow: whether voters approve of his unorthodox handling of key issues enough to give him a second term may be decided by North Carolina, a must-win state for the Republican incumbent. If judging his chances based on past elections – including in 2016 when he carried North Carolina by 3.7 percentage points – this shouldn’t be an extremely difficult task. In the last 50 years, only two Democrats have managed to carry the Tar Heel State on the presidential level – Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Barack Obama in 2008. That said, even as the President carried this state four years ago, it is not a guarantee that he can hold onto this state again.

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Decision 2020: Thom Tillis vs. Cal Cunningham (NC Senate)

Alex Shultz ’21

Not only will North Carolina play a significant role as a swing state in the presidential election, it will also determine what the next Senate will look like. With the Republicans holding a slight 53-47 majority, both the Republican and Democratic parties are closely watching the Senate race unfold in this swing state. The incumbent, Senator Thom Tillis, is finishing up his first term in office, having been elected in 2015. His challenger, Cal Cunningham, is considered a strong pick for Democrats to run in a Republican leaning state to cut into the Republican Senate majority (Slodysko, Robertson).

Cal Cunningham. Graysonbarnette, (CC BY-SA 4.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

Cal Cunningham was seen as one of the best candidates the Democratic Party put forward this election cycle, especially in a swing state like North Carolina. Cunningham was a born and raised North Carolinian and decided to join the U.S. Army Reserve after the September 11th attacks. Cunningham has served three tours overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star during his time. Furthermore, Cunningham is running on issues including reforming education, immigration, and the criminal justice system.

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