north-carolina

Why Female Trump Voters Think He'll Widen the GOP Tent

Trump greets supporters after a campaign rally at the Crown Center Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C, on Wednesday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The Republican establishment, after his three Tuesday night wins, continues to fret that Donald Trump is costing the party support among the demographics it most needs to court: Hispanics and women. And the candidate's behavior at a rally here Wednesday night — his second in the state this week — didn't give them any reason to feel comfortable with the idea of him becoming the nominee. It was another exercise in eviction. "This is lots more fun than a Trump rally, right?” the GOP front-runner yelled, watching as police in the Crown Coliseum forcibly removed protesters An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday showed 60 percent of voters think Trump is hurting the GOP's image. Some conservatives echoed those concerns at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington last weekend.  

But Republican primary voters in the NBC/WSJ poll were almost evenly split about whether Trump is positive or harmful to the party. Plenty of Trump's supporters, especially women for whom the economy is more important than social issues, told Roll Call they believe Trump is actually widening the GOP tent by bringing in not just new voters, but voters who see him as more willing to negotiate than Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.  

North Carolinians See Cruz as Moral Choice

Cruz takes the stage at a town-hall style interview in Raleigh. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

RALEIGH, N.C. — As a former pastor, Fred Wolfe has seen plenty of evangelical Christians make a distinction between religion and politics. They look for "toughness, not morals" in their candidates, he said, and so are probably voting for GOP front-runner Donald Trump this year. Wolfe himself, though, is canvassing for Sen. Ted Cruz in North Carolina.  

"He's the first Republican candidate I've been able to support with a clean conscience,"  said Wolfe, 37, one of many conservative Christians who turned out to the hear the Texas Republican speak at Calvary Baptist Church here.  

Proposed N.C. Congressional Map Sets Up Incumbent Showdown

Much of Holding's current district would move into another. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Carolina Republicans are gearing up for a showdown between 13th District Rep. George Holding and 2nd District Rep. Renee Ellmers as a result of a proposed new congressional map the General Assembly approved Friday.

"Nobody's too thrilled about a primary, but that's the democratic way," Carter Wrenn, a consultant working for the Holding campaign, told  The Raleigh News and Observer

Top Races in 2016: The South

Volunteer David Bowser peeks outside the Pinellas County Democratic Party headquarters in St. Petersburg on Election Day 2012. (Edward Linsmier/Getty Images File Photo)

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of looks at the most competitive House and Senate races in the 2016 election cycle.  

The South region includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  

Gubernatorial Races to Watch in 2016

Democrats in North Carolina are hoping McCrory has overplayed his hand. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

Despite Democrats' surprising victory last week in Louisiana — where state Rep. John Bel Edwards beat Republican Sen. David Vitter in the runoff –  they hold only 18 gubernatorial seats, compared to the 31 held by Republican governors.  

Next year, Democrats will defend eight seats, including ones in targeted U.S. Senate battle grounds such as Missouri and New Hampshire, while Republicans will defend four.  Missouri: With incumbent Democrat Jay Nixon on his way out,  Republicans believe one of their top pickup opportunities is in Missouri, where the chief executive's office has been held by Democrats for all but four of the past 22 years.  

Don’t Blame Gerrymandering for GOP Civil War

Some believe that Boehner's run as speaker was a victim of redistricting, but that's not the whole story. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Blame the earmark ban or Republican leaders. Blame Ted Cruz or even Justin Bieber. But don’t blame gerrymandering for the fighting in the House.  

As Republicans labor through replacing Speaker John A. Boehner, bemoaning redistricting has become a common refrain in explaining the GOP civil war.  

Key Races in 2016: Politicial Landscape Taking Shape

A few key races across the country next year will determine the balance of power in the Senate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

   

Election Day is more than a year away, but the field of most competitive Senate and House races is already starting to take shape. While the political environment could change over the next 17 months, the landscape is largely set as a handful of races in each region will likely decide the majorities in the next Congress.  

Top Races to Watch in 2016: The South

Rubio's decision not to run for re-election while he runs for president creates a hot race for a pivotal Senate seat.

   

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of looks at the most competitive House and Senate races in the 2016 election cycle. The South region includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Florida Senate:  From competitive primaries to the general election, the race to replace GOP Sen. Marco Rubio should have it all. Rubio left his party a competitive open seat to defend in the wake of his White House bid. The Republican field is still taking shape, but a competitive primary looks likely. Reps. Ron DeSantis and Jeff Miller, and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera are running. Rep. Patrick Murphy is running on the Democratic side, but could be joined by colorful Rep. Alan Grayson in what would be an entertaining primary. Even though there is uncertainty about the nominees, the general election is likely to be one of the most competitive in the country, and a virtual must-win for Democrats to get back to the majority. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call rates the race as a Pure Tossup .  

Why 500 Attack Emails Couldn’t Take Down Thom Tillis

Tillis defeated Hagan despite Democrats' best efforts and lots of money spent attacking him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There were a few constants during the 2014 cycle: death, taxes, my three young kids waking up before 7 a.m. and a daily Democratic email attacking North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis. But in the end, even in the face of hundreds of blistering emails, the Republican challenger knocked off Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country.  

All of that time and effort spent electronically attacking a candidate who ends up winning begs the question: “Was it worth it?”  

How Much Trouble Is Richard Burr in?

How vulnerable is Burr? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr apparently is easy to underestimate.  

The former Wake Forest football defensive back (he played at 6’1’’, 200 pounds as a sophomore in 1975, according to the university’s Athletic Media Relations Department) served five terms in the House and is now in his second term in the Senate.  He is the Tar Heel State’s senior senator and, more importantly, chairs the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, a particularly meaningful position given terrorist threats to the United States. But Burr, who lost or dropped a couple of bids to join his party’s Senate leadership, has never been as high-profile or grandiloquent as some of his Senate colleagues. And each time he runs in a competitive contest, observers tend to focus on his weaknesses, not his strengths.