By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
November 11, 2016
North Carolina, which has become a battleground state in recent years, had good results on the federal level this election season, but it was a mixed bag for state offices.
With its 15 electoral votes up for grabs, Republican Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Tar Heel state for the Presidency of the United States. Trump garnered 49.90% of the vote to Clinton’s 46.13%. Both candidates campaigned heavily in the state.
According to reports by the Associated Press, exit polling showed most North Carolinians thought the economy was the main concern. A wide majority of voters had a negative view of the federal government and felt it needed change. Evangelical voters provided strong support for Trump.
For the U.S. Senate seat representing North Carolina, incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr beat Democratic challenger Deborah Ross. Burr took 51.11% of the electorate, while Ross got 45.33%. Ross, a former lobbyist for the N.C. Chapter of the ACLU and one of the most liberal members of the North Carolina House, apparently was a little too far Left for North Carolinians and Hillary Clinton was unable to provide enough help to dislodge Burr.
Congressional incumbents, G.K. Butterfield (D), George Holding (R), Walter B. Jones (R), David Price (D), Virginia Foxx (R), B. Mark Walker (R), David Rouzer (R), Richard Hudson (R), Robert Pittenger (R), Patrick McHenry (R), Mark Meadows (R), and Alma Adams (D) were re-elected.
Congressional newcomer Tedd Budd (R) of Guildford County, won the old seat once occupied by George Holding, who because of redistricting ran for the seat of Renee Elmers, and beating her in the primaries. Budd is a strong supporter of Home-schooling. He’s a member of the Home School Legal Defense Association and has served as a Board member of North Carolinians for Home Education.
Republican legislators retained strong control of both the North Carolina House and Senate, losing only one seat in the House and picking up a seat in the Senate.
Republicans will hold supermajorities in both chambers, giving them the ability to override the Governor’s veto if needed. In the House, Republicans have a 74-46 edge over Democrats, and a 35-15 edge in the Senate. Only 72 votes would be needed to override the Governor’s veto in the House and Republicans hold 74 seats. In the Senate 30 votes are needed to override the Governor’s veto and Republicans hold 35 seats.
The nail-biting race for Governor in North Carolina is still too close to call, with less than a 5,000 vote spread between Governor Pat McCrory (R) and former N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper (D), with Cooper in the lead.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, Christian statesman, par excellence,’ easily retained his seat against two-time challenger, Linda Coleman (D), once in 2012 and again this year. It was a very tight race between Coleman and Forest the first time, but this election Forest beat Coleman back by a 51.8% to 45.28% margin.
Final results for the seat of the N.C. Attorney General, like the Governor’s race, have also not been called. Former state Sen. Buck Newton (R) and Sen. Josh Stein (D) are neck and neck, with a little more than 2000 votes between them. Currently Stein is overtaking Newton.
In other Council of State races, Beth Wood (D) slightly overcame her Republican challenger, Chuck Stuber by almost 3200 votes.
Republican Steve Troxler kept his seat as Agriculture Commissioner.
Republican challenger Mike Causey upset incumbent Democrat Wayne Goodwin, for the office of Insurance Commissioner with less than 1% of the vote.
Cherie Berry will remain the Commissioner of Labor, while Elaine Marshall will stay on as Secretary of State.
Mark Johnson (R) also had an upset by beating incumbent June Atkinson for the post of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Dale Folwell had a decisive victory against Dan Blue III for the seat of State Treasurer, winning by a margin of 5 points.
For N.C. Supreme Court Judge, it was a crushing defeat for conservatives. Long-time conservative N.C. Supreme Court Justice, Bob Edmunds, lost to Mike Morgan. Morgan says his judicial philosophy is like that of U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy wrote the ruling that imposed same-sex marriage on the country. Typically candidates listed at the top of the ballot garner most of the vote. Edmunds was listed at the bottom.
Five Republicans won seats on the N.C. Court of Appeals: Phil Berger, Jr., Hunter Murphy, Bob Hunter, Richard Dietz, and Valerie Zachary.
The votes in favor of advancing alcohol sales across North Carolina profoundly defeated those who would have kept access to alcohol limited in their communities.
There were a total of 27 alcohol referendums held in Alexander, Bertie, Burke, Camden, Cleveland, Davidson, Davie, Gaston, Haywood, Johnston, and Stanly counties. Votes in favor of greater access to alcohol bested limited sales by an average of 62.3% to a 37.1% margin.