Random post-election thoughts, questions and musings

Wow. Just wow. I spent last night watching, commenting, wondering, and asking really? And a good part of today, making notes and generally thinking through what does all this mean.  Sharing some random thoughts on the day after the 2016 Election…..

Lucky Mike Night – unexpected wins for “Mike”

  1. Mike Pence – In the most unexpected result, he becomes #VPOTUS
  2. Mike Morgan – becomes the newest member of SCONC, tipping the majority of the Court to 4 dems/3Repubs. Surprise win, perhaps first listed on ballot advantage?
  3. Mike Causey – after numerous unsuccessful runs at public office and without doing anything new or different this time, Causey unseats a two term Democrat, Wayne Goodwin, to win the NC Insurance Commissioner’s race by about 38k votes

Victims of HB2?

McCrory expressed misgivings when the bill passed, worked for a compromise with the uber-liberal Charlotte mayor and defended the bill to the end. He couldn’t get past the noise the left created to talk about his many economic and education accomplishments. In the end, HB2 cost him the governorship.

Buck Newton sponsored the bill in the State Senate, stuck with it, proudly defended it to the end. His opponent, Josh Stein conveniently resigned his state Senate seat right before the vote was taken on HB2 – a move many considered cowardly and evasive – something Newton never really made an issue. Standing up for his principles and standing behind “Buck’s bill – cost him the Attorney General’s office.

The big winner?

The North Carolina General Assembly Republicans. The Senate, who many said had hit high-water mark at 34 seats, picks up one and pushes their super-majority to 35 out of 50. North Carolina House thought to be in danger of losing super majority actually loses net one seat, maintains 74 of 120 seats, hanging on to it’s super majority as well. Governor Cooper (assuming his lead sticks) has the veto; NCGA Republicans have the override.

 

The big loser? Many NC taxpayers.*

Some localities considered bonds. They all passed leading most likely to tax increases. More on local referendums here and here.

What now?

In the “we have not heard the last of..” category, aka what the future of the Democratic party looks like:

Debra Ross, ran a respectable state wide race for the US Senate, losing to incumbent Republican Richard Burr. She ended up with 45% of the vote. She was not the Democrat’s first choice but she has clearly positioned herself as a viable candidate, gained statewide experience, recognition and respect from party operatives instate and out and no doubt, learned a lot for a future run. She is 53 years old.

Josh Stein. Unless there’s a game changing re-count, he’s the new Attorney General. Like Mike Easley and Roy Cooper before him, will his new gig be a pathway to governor’s mansion? He is 50 years old.

Dan Blue, III ran a respectable race for the open state Treasurer’s office. Although he lost to Republican Dale Folwell by 244k votes, he now has experience running a state-wide race, additional name recognition, statewide campaigning experience and a strong and committed donor base. He is 43 years old.

Who had the red bull?

Concerned about voter fatigue, with the 2 most unpopular presidential candidates, would many voters choose to stay home? Nope. Hillary had a ground game second to none, out-manned, out spent Trump but little excitement. In the end it was the passion and energy of #MAGA that got people out and won the day. Overall NC turnout was 68%. In 2008, the high-water mark it was 70% and in 2012, it was 68%. In spite of the left’s claims of voter suppression – North Carolina votes.

Governor who?

4,980 votes separate Roy Cooper and Pat McCrory (per NCSBOE returns reported 11/9 at 12:15 pm) with not all votes in and accounted for. Absentee ballots still could impact outcome of this race.  Mail-in ballots have to postmarked on or before Election Day and will be accepted through mid- Nov.

Absentee ballots requested: 3,190,953

Returned as of 11/8/16: 3,123,352

Outstanding: 67,601

Almost 13,000 are from military personnel and those living overseas who tend to lean Republican.

In addition, provisional ballots must be certified, those eligible, accounted for. Historically, provisional ballots tend to break for Democrats.

County boards of elections will certify results at 11 am on Nov 18; the State Board of Elections will certify results at 11 am on Nov 29.

Recounts? For statewide contests, vote difference must be 10k votes or less. For non-statewide races, w/in 1% of total votes cast on that ballot item.

The new NC?

The NC Attorney General race pitting Democrat city-slicker, urban lawyer Raleigh inside the beltline Josh Stein against Republican small town, eastern NC, farmer/hunter/fisherman small practice lawyer Buck Newton was the quintessential urban v rural political race. The urban rural divide is real, folks. Not just in political contests but in education funding, transportation and infrastructure resources, job creation and quality of life. How to bridge the divide will be the biggest challenge NC will face for the next decade. Or two. Or three. If you need to put a face to it– Buck v Stein is it.

Who are these people?

10 Million more eligible voters in 2016 than in 2012; 20 Million more than in 2016. How many more in 2020 and who are these people anyway? More than 1/3 are unaffiliated, don’t register with either of the major political parties.

To put that in perspective, NC population is just over 10M. In other words, the US is adding the equivalent of all the people in NC every 4 years.

Are the urban areas becoming Democrat strongholds?

Demographics tell us urban areas are becoming more democratic, urban areas, more republican. In the Council of State races:

Durham voted for all the Democrat candidates by 70+%

Wake County voted for all the Democrats, excepted for Republican Steve Troxler for Ag Commissioner by mid-50%

Mecklenburg County voted for all the democrat candidates by high 50-60% margins.

Forsyth County voted for all the democrat candidates, except Cherie Berry for Labor Commissioner by mid-50 and up % points.

What happened to the polls?

It seems wonderfully ironic that all the major polls were wrong but yet Trump’s chief campaign advisor Kellyanne Conway, a pollster by trade, pulled off the greatest political coup in history.  If you’re looking for strong women America, here’s one. Melanie Trump, who wore a white pantsuit to celebrate her husband’s victory last night, is another. (For reference, remember Hillary’s symbolic suffragette/Roman goddess white pantsuit she wore to accept her parties nomination?)

Are you sure?

From George Will – Winston Churchill enjoyed the story of the man upon hearing about the death of his mother-in-law gave burial instructions – “Embalm, cremate, bury at sea. Take no chances.”

Same could be said for the 2016 election. Let’s put this sucker to bed.

Now in 2020…….

  • Updated 11/14/2016

 

 

Becki Gray / Senior Vice President

Becki Gray is Senior Vice President of the John Locke Foundation. She provides information, consultation, and publications to elected officials, government staff and other dec...

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