I had hoped to be writing to you now about planning our work to push our newly-elected Democratic officials leftward to help people throughout our state and country. But, it is now clear that North Carolina will remain under solid Republican control and the balance of power in the federal government remains up in the air.
It will likely be days or possibly weeks before we learn whether the election delivers us into four more years of the destructive, disastrous Trump regime. Control of the US Senate remains uncertain, but the US House will remain under Democratic control. Kathy Manning and Deborah Ross will become North Carolina’s new Democratic House members, improving our House representation from 10-3 to 8-5, a result likely due to NC Court victories to overturn some of the Republican gerrymandering.
At the state level, we got killed. Republicans maintain control of both the NC Senate and the NC House, and we lost all of the Council of State races except Secretary of State, with the results for Attorney General and Auditor still too close to call. Even more concerning, the races for Supreme Court Chief Justice and one of the two associate justice seats are also too close to call, with the other associate justice going to the Republicans. The brightest light is that Gov. Cooper soundly defeated Dan Forest, and that Republicans still don’t have a veto-proof majority.
I’m sure that we’re all dispirited. Many of us are probably angry too. Angry at the Party. Angry at the way the media frames issues. Angry at the disinformation. Angry at too-moderate Democrats. Angry at voter suppression. And more.
We have to turn that anger into action for the future. How do we build the Progressive Caucus across the state? How do we find and engage progressives even in red counties? How do we build up our capabilities? How do we work with other progressive organizations both in NC and across the country? How do we engage with voters across the state now instead of in two or four years?
It will take us a few weeks to rest and to grieve over the disastrous results of this election, but then we need to get back to work. The Caucus Executive Committee will plan a full-membership virtual meeting in December to begin discussing how we work toward a better future. Please be thinking about it and be ready to pitch in.
Lee Nackman, President