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April 16, 2022 Newsletter

Posted on April 18, 2022
Massachusetts' best resource for keeping the House and the Senate and turning purple states Blue.
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Volunteers Taking Back Democracy

April 16, 2022

Issue #191

In This Issue

● What's going on in NC? 
●  How can Swing Blue Alliance volunteers get involved?
●  What else is going on?

Spotlight on North Carolina

The midterm elections in North Carolina offer Dems a three-fold opportunity -- at the federal, state, and local levels. Given current politics and changes across the state, it is critical that Dems win positions up and down the ballot.

If NC sends even one Democratic Senator or Representative to Washington, that is one more vote to stem the tide of Republican intransigence.

At the state level, Republicans are close to gaining a supermajority in the General Assembly. If Republicans win three more seats in the NC House and two more in the Senate, Democrats in the state legislature will no longer be able to protect Dem Governor Roy Cooper's veto power. Plus, the liberal majority on the NC Supreme Court is on the line: The seats of two Democratic Justices are up for grabs. 

Looking forward, the results of the US Census will push North Carolina into the forefront of the political battle for control in Washington. NC is on track to become the third largest swing state in the country and therefore may have a significant influence on the 2024 Presidential election.

A Little History

NC has been split along competing demographic, geographic, and cultural lines almost since its inception. From the mid-1800s through 2010, control of the General Assembly has stayed in the hands of rural and highly conservative Southern Democrats. This faction has transitioned to Republican after the 1964 Civil Rights Act). And these Republicans have worked incessantly to disenfranchise Black and lower-class voters and has fought passage of laws that would benefit the poor at the expense of the wealthy.

Gerrymandering

Many are surprised to find that the number of votes cast for Democratic and Republican candidates in NC is basically equal. It is electoral district lines that shift election results right. As power shifted in the early 2010s (see Ballotpedia chart below), Republicans have redistricted the state to their advantage.

Since 2013, when the GOP party gained a trifecta (holding the NC Governorship, Senate, and General Assembly), the legislature has been bolder and bolder about overt gerrymandering, blatantly citing racial and then political party data as reasons for their maps.

Fourteen years of Democratic trifectas  •  Four years of Republican trifectas

The left-leaning North Carolina Supreme Court has actually overthrown several approved Republican districting maps, including their latest 2021 proposal. Unfortunately, the most recent district lines, which are not as egregious as the Republicans proposed, will soon be moot, as they are in effect only through 2022 midterms.

Can Democrats Win in NC?

Given today's Republican control of NC’s House and Senate seats, many people refer to NC as a Red State. Actually, almost every election is hotly contested. As a result, organizations as diverse as The Hill, 270toWin, and PoliticsNC call the state Purple.

NCs voters are not intransigent, and individual voters do not always vote on straight party lines. For example, NC's votes for President and Governor have gone to different parties in eight of the most recent fifteen elections.

In addition, NC’s voters are shifting left due to demographics. More people, including a larger percentage of Dems and people of color, have been moving into urban areas. Increased housing demand has made cities more expensive, forcing liberals to seek more affordable housing in areas that many call "countrypolitan".

Keeping NC Purple requires that Dems do more than protect and increase Democratic votes in urban areas. To succeed, grassroots organizations must shift “countrypolitan” districts further left.

As always, timing is everything. NC primaries are just around the corner on May 17. Primaries are a powerful motivator for getting out the vote because candidates focus on local issues. By engaging voters starting now -- and reengaging them through November -- Dems have a great potential to protect and increase their position in Congress and the White House. 

In short ...

Given Republican control, Democrats must set realistic, near-term goals for North Carolina. Dems must protect the US Congress and prevent increasingly undemocratic laws and voter suppression in NC. How? Dems must help NC (1) maintain or increase the number of Dems in Congress, (2) deny the Republicans a veto-proof supermajority at the state level, and (3) protect Democratic control of the state Supreme Court. The only way to achieve these missions is to elect more Democrats in both urban and countrypolitan districts. And that will take all of us.

View an informal list of sources for this article here.

Swing Blue Alliance on the Front Lines

The upcoming Swing Blue Alliance All Volunteer Roundup will introduce you to everything you need to know so you can contribute effectively to concrete advances in North Carolina.

At the Roundup, you'll meet one of SBA’s key partners in NC, County-to-County (C2C), a groundbreaking offshoot of the Orange County Democratic Party. Nan Nixon, Co-Executive Director of C2C, will describe how their organization has collaborated with over 40 candidates and more than 20 NC counties, strengthening local parties and electing Democrats to the General Assembly.

Much of the Roundup will focus on what volunteers like you can do to protect democratic ideals in NC. You'll hear about opportunities to:

  • Recruit volunteers in North Carolina, empowering NC Dems to build an infrastructure that will last for years to come
  • Make calls for -- and with -- incumbent State Senators and Reps whose reelection will block a Republican supermajority and combat voter suppression
  • Contribute to SBA Labs experiments on the science of handwritten postcards and letters as part of a research project shared by SBA , Sister District, Environmental Voter Project, and Galvanize Action

Sun, Apr 24 @ 5 pm ET

Ongoing SBA Events

New Hampshire

Canvass in Manchester

Saturdays, Apr 23, May 7, and May 21 @10 am - 1 pm ET

Deep Canvassing Training

Thursday Apr 28, May 4, and May 18 @ 5:30 - 7 pm ET

 

Pennsylvania and North Carolina

Training

Practice Zoom Breakout Rooms

Sat Apr 16 @ 11 am ET

Intermediate Slack Training

Sat Apr 23 @ 11 am ET

 

Our Mission

Swing Blue Alliance (formerly Swing Left Greater Boston) is the largest all-volunteer Democratic grassroots organization headquartered in Massachusetts. We use proven methods to protect our Democracy, work on competitive local and national elections, and strengthen the Democratic party at the grassroots level.

Your contribution will help fund the operations of this volunteer-produced newsletter, which goes out to over 15K subscribers.

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