The southeastern United States has been a stronghold of Republican influence for the last few decades; However, in recent months the political landscape of the southeast has begun to favor democrats more. The Trump Era of Republicanism has seemingly irked some moderate republicans into voting blue since the 2018 midterm elections. The trend towards a more democratic south is front and center in the tight senate races of North Carolina and South Carolina.
In the upcoming election control of the senate is a key issue and the seats of North Carolina and South Carolina could decide who wins the senate majority. Earlier in the year the election maps of the south looked solid red, but things have significantly changed since the covid-19 outbreak that sprung up before the summer. States such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia are becoming more purple as time goes on and this bad news for senate Republicans. On October 5th “fivethirtyeight.com” projected that Democrats win control of the house in 66 out of 100 test scenarios. Senate majority Republicans are now being forced to hold on to the bare minimum majority rather than winning more seats.
The South Carolina senate race is not the most important senate race, but it is costing Republicans millions more than expected. The Democrat Jamie Harrison has narrowed the polling results to a straight statistical tie in recent months which is in stark contrast to earlier polls that had incumbent Lindsey Graham up by over 10 points. Lindsey Graham is also starting to lose in the fundraising race as Harrison has out fundraised the incumbent by millions of dollars. The narrowing race in South Carolina has showed that the Trump cronyism that was touted by Graham throughout Trump’s first term had an electoral cost. Lindsey Graham has effectively politically anchored himself with Trump and that could be his own downfall. The presidential election results of South Carolina will most likely decide the fate of the incumbent.
Lindsey Grahams current electoral results are looking bad, but they are nothing compared to the current tidal wave that has overtaken North Carolina. The state that has turned purple in recent elections is now starting to turn solid blue. Every single public poll since June has favored the upcoming Cal Cunningham by margins that range from 5% to 10%. The incumbent Thom Tillis must overcome a fundraising battle in which his opponent Cal Cunningham recently broke an all-time senate quarterly funding record with over $7,000,000 dollars. The site “fivethirtyeight.com” has projected that the challenger Cunningham has over a 60% chance of defeat the incumbent in November.
Losing two seats in the traditionally Republican south will force the Republicans to think of a new strategy if they want to keep control of the government. The tight 2020 election has revealed a weakness in Republican influence and is forcing long time senate residents to fight for their career. The 2020 election battles could be a warning of a Democratic sweep that would reverse the momentum that the 2016 election started. Even in a non-sweep scenario the southeastern United States would still become a key battleground for future house and senate control.
Overall, the political future of the United States is starting to look bluer in a big way.
Sources: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2020/senate/nc/north_carolina_senate_tillis_vs_cunningham–6908.html, https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/senate/north-carolina/, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2020/senate/sc/south_carolina_senate_graham_vs_harrison-7083.html, https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/south-carolina/, https://www.businessinsider.com/thom-tillis-vs-cal-cunningham-north-carolina-election-polls-fundraising-2020-7