Nov 16, 2023 - News

National Democratic groups plan to spend millions on N.C.'s legislature

Photo illustration of the North Carolina State Capitol over a divided red and blue background with elements of ballots.

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Rolf Schulten/Getty Images

National Democrats will spend millions in state legislative elections next year with an eye toward breaking Republican supermajorities in four states: Kansas, Kentucky, Wisconsin and North Carolina, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The party has little hope of winning control of these legislatures, but their goal, the NYT writes, is to win back the power of the veto pen in states where Republican legislators have veto-proof majorities and a Democrat holds the executive branch.

The big picture: The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee's seven-figure commitment comes on the heels of the North Carolina General Assembly's enactment of new political maps last month that are almost certain to give Republicans an advantage in the next election.

By the numbers: Republicans currently hold 72 of 120 seats in the state House and 30 of 50 seats in the Senate.

The intrigue: Next year Democrats have a handful of opportunities to pick up seats in some of the most competitive parts of the state, like Wake and Mecklenburg counties.

  • Yes, but: Some of those districts are similar to the same competitive seats Democrats failed to win in 2022.

Between the lines: Across the country, Democrats hope that the issue of abortion will once again mobilize voters. But House minority leader Rep. Robert Reives pointed to Republicans' near legalization of non-tribal casinos as another issue that may help Democrats next year.

  • The GOP push was "literally going against every constituency," Reives told the Times.
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