Thursday, September 19, 2019

What Are the Most Flippable NC Senate Seats for 2020?

Numero Uno Democratic Pickup Opportunity for 2020
Republican Dan Bishop's NC Senate District 39. Bishop just got elected to the US House. His successor to fill out his NC Senate term has not yet been named. Whoever it is will face a stark new reality: NCS39 has gone from "Strong Republican" (according to ratings by the NC Free Enterprise Foundation in 2018) to "Likely Democratic" in Michael Bitzer's analysis of the new court-ordered maps.

Look for spirited competition for this seat in the 2020 March Democratic primary.

"Competitive, Democratic Favored"
One Republican incumbent is the sitting duck here: John M. Alexander. Or rather his district 18, since Alexander himself has already seen the writing on the proverbial wall and announced he will not be running again.

Democrat Christine Kushner, who was planning to run in the 18th, is now in the redrawn 16th District with incumbent Democrat Wiley Nickel (rated "Likely Democrat"). Democrat Matt Cox, who was already running in the 18th, has also been drawn out of the new district. I hear the name of Democrat Sarah Crawford rumored for the now open 18th District.

Flippable Republican Incumbents
If it's a Blue Wave again in 2020, then these districts deserve dollar targetting and/or smart Democratic recruitment:
"Competitive But Republican Favored"
Republican Louis Pate, District 7 -- Pate has already announced his retirement, and Democrat Donna Lake, who's already up and running, seems a good prospect to flip the district if she sharpens her policy positions.
Republican Rick Horner, District 11 -- Horner won in 2018 with over 56% of the vote against Democrat Albert Pacer, who says he's running again in 2020. Pacer may not be the strongest Democratic candidate.
Republican Joyce Krawiec, District 31 -- Krawiec romped to reelection in 2018 with 61% of the vote against Democrat John Motsinger Jr. A stronger Democratic recruitee might make a race of it.

"Lean Republican"
Republican Rick Gunn, District 24 -- Gunn beat Democrat J.D. Wooten by just over 6,000 votes in 2018, and Wooten is already in the race for a rematch. 
Republican Danny Earl Britt, District 13 -- Won reelection in 2018 with 62.50% of the vote. He's probably unbeatable.
Republican Bob Steinburg, District 1 -- Steinburg beat Democrat D. Cole Phelps in 2018 with 53.21% of the vote to 46.75%. That's a hill that looks climbable to me.
Republican Tom McInnis, District 25 -- McInnis took 57% of the vote against Democrat Helen Probst Mills in 2018. Which was discouraging.
Republican Rick Edwards, District 48 -- Edwards took 56% of the vote against Norm Bossert in this Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania district in 2018.

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