NC Democrats face long road back to power

Posted November 7, 2012

— North Carolina Democrats enjoyed a banner year in 2008, with the election of the first African-American president, first female governor and enough blue lawmakers to control Congress and the state General Assembly.

Four years later, Republicans have swept away the last bit of power Democrats held in state government, and the party finds itself on the outside looking in for the first time since Reconstruction.

"Elections do that," said Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake. "There's a shift to the Republicans in this cycle, as was in 2010. They took advantage of victories to shape the legislature."

Republicans now hold a 32-18 edge in the state Senate and a 77-43 advantage in the House in addition to having Gov.-elect Pat McCrory succeeding Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue.

Democrats say the power shift doesn't reflect a mandate from North Carolina voters. Instead, they say, new voting maps that produced Republican-friendly districts and enormous amounts of campaign spending were to blame for the seats they lost in state government.

"It sends a message they've got some trouble for some time to come," said Steven Greene, associate professor of political science at North Carolina State University.

Greene said Democrats are going to have to raise lots of money on their own and recruit strong candidates in the future to try to rebuild their power base.

"Republicans didn't do it overnight – taking over the state House – and Democrats taking it back won't happen overnight," he said.

Legislative Building Dems: GOP election victories not mandate

Democrats said a favorable ruling on court challenges to the Republican-drawn voting maps could help them regain some seats in the 2014 elections.

"Redistricting litigation, hard work, and public opinion will help us regain seats," said Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake.

While they wait for a swing in the political pendulum, Blue said, Democrats need to focus on trying to get some of their own bills through the General Assembly. He noted that Republican bills passed when he was speaker of a Democratic-controlled House in the 1990s.

"I believe there's some value in the thought that an idea whose time has come will be able to find a place in the marketplace of ideas," he said. "I see the minority party as being something other than just opposition for sake of opposition, but the minority party ought to raise serious issues, ought to call out the majority party."

"We still have relationships with colleagues and experienced members," Ross said. "For influence, we have public opinion on policy matters."

Democrats also pointed to President Barack Obama's strong showing in North Carolina, where he finished with 48 percent of the vote despite the Republican tide. They say that shows how evenly divided North Carolina is and that both parties have influence.

"I’m pretty sure the Republicans are not taking their majority for granted and are working hard to keep it, and Democrats will work as hard as they can to take it away," Greene said.


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  • LKG-Lover Nov 9, 2012

    Democrats are now the party of the athiests, gays, lesibans, transgenders, welfare recipients, Food Stamp acceptors, baby killers and those who do not contribute to the economy. For the first time in our nations history, the takers have out numbered and vote the makers (those that contribute by seeking to better their lives with hard work, paying taxes and fearing God). Yes you can continue this free ride a little longer by taxing theose who make it and giving it to those that take it, but sooner or latter the well will run dry. Look at Greece today and you will see where we are heading. 25% general unemployment, 50% for young people. High inflation, lawlessness and vigulantes roaming the streets. Not a pretty picture when the gravy train runs out.

  • thinlady1 Nov 9, 2012

    it really doesn't matter who is in power in this state it just seems corruption always wins....lets see how long it takes before its shows up this time.......

  • NCHighlander Nov 9, 2012

    I for one am proud of NC and the 52 percent of decent voters who won this election. We have reached a majority in the nation who have proven to lack moral decency and expect others to feed and provide for them.
    The hardships that America face now are well deserved and voted for. America voted against jobs and for welfare. It voted for gay marriage in this election. It voted for abortion to be used as a routine contraception on those who won't take personal responsibility for becoming pregnant.
    We are now Europe. Hope the libs, gays, and African Americans who pushed Obama over the 50% mark are happy in the future.

  • AX MAN Nov 8, 2012

    Democrats will distroy the USA

  • Damien Thorne Nov 8, 2012

    "War on abortion"

    A country that values the life of a soldier trained to kill over an innocent child.

    "War on contraceptives"

    I already pay for my spouses contraception, you want to force me at gunpoint to pay for someone elses?

    "War on gay marriage (Government has no business being involved with marriage to begin with)"

    No such thing, perhaps if they wanted something like marriage they could present it and get it. Try to force it? Not smart. But it will not be called marriage, get your own title.

    "Trying to control personal relationships and make it illegal for an unmarried couple to cohabitate Trying to make laws that force businesses to close on Sunday Trying to ban alcohol on Sunday Trying to ban hunting on Sunday Trying to ban drugs (prohibition never works)"----dcatz

    Perhaps you lost the fact that all of that was done by Democrats? Do you understand that fact?

  • lec02572 Nov 8, 2012

    This is just the star. After all their "good ole boy club" is being dismantled. I guess the board of elections will change in numbers soon.

  • skinnyCat Nov 8, 2012

    Now the challenge of being in total and absolute control. Sometimes its just easier to be the attack dog.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 8, 2012

    "Well Paultaylor maybe you don't mind the government telling you who you can sleep with or what you can do with your body, but I do. I guess that I am just not as big on government regulation as you are."

    The government is not telling you what to do with your body. They are also not telling you who you can sleep with. I know the lefties have convinced you of that nonsense, but it is not the case. All I ask is that if you are going to kill babies, please pay for it and stop forcing me to pay for it.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 8, 2012

    For the party of "limited government", you guys sure want the government to control every aspect of people's live

    Sorry but it is the left that does that. YOU are trying to force people to accept same-sex marriage by force of law. People are now FORCEd to buy health insurance. People are forced to pay for others to kill babies. Oh want to smoke,,, well now,,, sure we want to tax the snot out of the product, but we are going to force you to smoke where we tell you to do it. I am being FORCED to pay for buses and trains. I don't use them, but so what, why should the people that use them pay for them. Lefties forced me to pay for Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. I do not want nor did I request ANY of that. 15 percent of my lifetime income STOLEN for three bankrupt programs. Now I am forced to pay even more so the people being forced to obtain health insurance can pay for it. Oh and I so enjoy being forced to pay for food, housing, and phones, for the beggar class.

  • jrfergerson Nov 8, 2012

    The Democrats brought this on themselves with all their lies, coverups and the such - now it is pay the piper.