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North Carolina's small shift to the left in 2020 didn't lead to Democratic defeat

Trump won the same eight GOP-controlled seats in both competitions, while the remaining five Democratic-held constituencies supported both Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. Biden, who, like many other states, likely benefited from a drop in third party votes, improved Hillary Clinton's lead in 12 districts, but it was insufficient to bring Republican seats into play.

The Democrats made a serious attempt to oust Republican MP Richard Hudson in the 8th Ward, located in the suburbs of Fayetteville and Charlotte, but Trump didn't lose nearly as much support here as Team Blue had hoped. Trump only went down from 53-44 to 53-46 while Hudson did prevailed with a similar 53-47 spread against the Democrat Patricia Timmons-Goodson.

The only other seat Trump had in the single digits this time around was Rep. Dan Bishop's 9th Ward in the suburbs of Sandhills and Charlotte, where his margin decreased from 54-43 to 53-46 in 2016. In the previous version of this district, there were nationwide observed special elections in 2019, which came after last year's results were discarded due to Republican electoral fraud. Bishop won that contest between 51 and 49, and the Democrats hoped that a redistribution that gave the Congressman a redrawn seat that was a little bluer and 20% new to him would make him more vulnerable. However, it shouldn't be as a bishop won his first full term 56–44.

The seat held by the GOP furthest from Trump was the 11th district, which supported him between 57 and 40 years ago four years ago and between 55 and 43 years old in 2020. That spread, however, was still more than enough to allow for one of the most notorious Republican extremists in the freshman class, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, easily defeating Democrat Moe Davis 55-42.

The largest left shift in the state occurred in Freshman Rep. Deborah Ross's 2nd District in the Raleigh area, who zoomed in from 60-36 Clinton to 64-34 Biden. The second was also one of two GOP-held seats Team Red nearly conceded after the reallocation, turning the old Republican Gerrymander into compact seats that the Democrats strongly preferred. The other was Rep. Kathy Manning's 6th Ward in the Greensboro and Winston-Salem areas. Looking at the new district lines, the seat moved from 59-38 Clinton to 62-37 Biden.

The only place Trump improved his lead from 2016 was in another Democratic constituency, the inland 1st District in northeast North Carolina. Clinton won 55-44 versus 54-45 biden here, while the Veteran Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield was re-elected from a comparable 54-46 in a competition that attracted little outside spending. (This district was also made a lot redder in the last round of restructuring.)

Last year, the Republicans had both chambers of the state parliament firmly under control Thanks in part to their existing Gerrymanderand state law does not veto the redistribution of the governor, Democrat Roy Cooper. The only possible restriction on GOP card manufacturers is a Democratic majority in the state's Supreme Court, but the participation of judges is not a sure thing.

P.S. A note on our methodology: The District level data The votes provided by the North Carolina Board of Elections contain a small number of votes that are algorithmically added as "noise" to protect the privacy of voters in small districts. We have only used this data for counties that are split between congressional districts. We used for undivided counties certified results at district level. As a result, our statewide totals reflect 514 more votes than the state-certified totals.

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