Biden Campaign Aims to Secure North Carolina in 2024 Push for Electoral Edge

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign efforts at expanding the 2024 election playing field seem to begin with the rolling hills of North Carolina. The state has been just out of grasp for Democrats since the anomaly of 2008 when Barack Obama clinched victory by less than half a percentage point in his White House win over GOP rival John McCain. Outside of that, Republican presidential candidates haven’t lost North Carolina since Democrat Jimmy Carter of Georgia prevailed in 1976.

But with changing demographics, a slate of controversial Republican down-ballot candidates, and an early ground game set up, the Biden team is betting this is the year the purple state turns blue. North Carolina and its 16 Electoral College votes is an insurance policy for the Biden campaign. Winning there would provide political breathing room if it comes up short in one or more currently “must-win” states, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The 2024 Biden campaign has been making historic early and significant investments in North Carolina, which went to Trump by a margin of 1.3 points in 2020. This year, analysts expect it to be tighter — possibly the closest race of the swing states. “This is the key battleground this cycle,” Kian Sadjadi, executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, told the Washington Examiner. “Looking at the information that’s coming back from the field and from voters out in the community, we really do feel like we are going to do it this cycle.”

Still, it’s not as simple as Democrat versus Republican in North Carolina, according to Thomas Mills, a political blogger and commentator in the Tar Heel State. The state has a history of voting independently of its conservative characterization and voting in opposition to registration trends. The of registered Democrats has shrunk, while Republicans’ numbers have grown. On the other side of the ballot, the Democratic Party has been putting in the work. In 2022, Democrats failed to put candidates up in 44 of 170 state legislative races, seemingly exemplifying lackluster interest in the state. This year, there will be Democratic candidates in all but two of those 44 races.

Republicans still like their chances. Lackluster fundraising and a busy court schedule have kept Trump from matching Biden’s head start — his campaign has yet to set up a ground game in the battleground state. However, his ability to turn out Republican voters in the last two elections should give supporters of the former president hope. Trump was able to drive 81% of registered Republicans to the polls in 2020. That’s a record “nobody had ever seen,” according to Mills.

If the Biden camp manages to tame the red tide in North Carolina, Democrats are hopeful for success overall in the general. Trump’s road to victory, Sadjadi said, goes right through the state, and they want to stop him there.

Written by Staff Reports

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