2014 predictions

by | Dec 31, 2013 | 2014 Elections, Editor's Blog, NC Politics, Politics | 14 comments

I’m not big on making political predictions. The environment can change on a dime and the forces driving public opinion today may be a distant memory six months from now. That said, here are a few.

Since the U. S. Senate race is the marquee event in the state this year, let’s start there. I predict we will see unprecedented money in the GOP primary from outside groups like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce to support Thom Tillis. Greg Brannon will never really get off the ground and Mark Harris will lack the resources to keep up. Tillis will win the nomination in May.

If the primary is not settled in May, then Thom Tillis will resign from the House since serving as speaker would prevent him from focusing on the run off. Besides, legislation before the house could serve to alienate Tillis from the conservative base that would show up in a low turnout second primary. In the run off, Mark Harris would actually defeat Tillis.

Regardless of the nominee, Kay Hagan will win re-election. Obamacare will not be the driving factor in the race. Republicans will spend millions telling Obamacare horror stories but most people will see very little difference in their quality of life and the majority of those that do will see a positive change. Without Obamacare, the Republicans won’t have the issue they need to fire Hagan.

The short session of the legislature will be short, but not as short as Tillis would want. It will be over in five weeks. The will give teachers and state employees small raises and offer additional money for schools. They will shy away from controversial legislation, staying out of the national spotlight.

Moral Mondays will resume but will not get crowds as large and very little national attention. The protests will keep the progressive base fired up, though, and that will translate into campaign workers for Democrats in the fall.

In legislative races, Democrats will pick up a handful of seats but will fail to capture a majority in either house.

Phil Berger, Jr. will win his primary easily and become the GOP nominee to succeed Howard Coble. With his father’s backing he will have all the money he needs. Laura Fjeld will run a spirited campaign against him but will likely come up a little short, though missteps by Berger could change that outcome.

In the Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District, Houston Barnes will become the nominee, narrowly defeating Keith Crisco in a hard-fought primary. Renee Ellmers will squeak through in her primary but will further alienate the Tea Party types that originally elected her. If Barnes can garner the resources, he could make it a real race. Ellmers lacks political savvy and her disillusioned base won’t show up in force.

Finally, George Holding may find himself in a race. I don’t know much about Brenda Cleary, but she has a great profile. She’ll have to put together a strong organization and raise enough cash to be competitive, though.

Overall, I think it’s going to be a fairly status quo election. The economy will finally begin to pick up and Obamacare won’t be the disaster Republicans are predicting. Voters won’t be looking for any major changes.


  1. Realtor

    As for the District 6 Democratic race, I can’t see Laura Fjelds beating out Bruce Davis, even with all the money she has raised. She has no record to stand on, and Bruce Davis has a proven track record for bringing jobs to Guilford County. I would beat on the proven track record every time

  2. Gordon Trenchard

    Barnes are you serious? Doesn’t live in the district, zero political experience, zero platform, zero concrete ideas, among many others. Crisco has a wealth of political experience and community involvement. You cannot be serious?

    • Thomas Mills

      Gordon, I could easily be wrong. I think primaries are glorified popularity contests and I think voters are wary of people who were part of the Easley and Perdue administrations. Barnes is fresh face at a time when Democrats are looking for a new generation of leaders. That said, Crisco may well come out on top, but that was my reasoning.

  3. Charlie Watkins

    Kay will win because she supports NC traditional values such as gun control, abortion and same-sex marriage.

    • Greg Dail

      I agree with Charlie, Kay’s a lock. And while we’re at it let’s change our name. I for one am sick and tired of sharing a name with another state, especially one as backward and reactionary as South Carolina. So, in keeping with “traditional” North Carolina values and as a tip of the hat to our moderately mainstream friends in Orange County, I say our new name should be the State of Carrboro. Gosh, that has a nice ring to it!

  4. Greg Dail

    I really hope you’re wrong about Hagan, but you could very well be right. I heard just today that 42% of the residents of our state were born elsewhere. And there’s a huge disconnect between the more often than not over taxed and over regulated states they came from and their attitudes towards the political leadership in those states. They just can’t put two and two together and they tend to vote for the same kinds of people here. Then factor in the disability cheats, the welfare bums, the leftists “intelligentsia”, the stupid college kids, the teachers/state worker unions, the race hustlers and the downright idiots (of which there are legion) and you make a good point.
    Come to think of it I’m almost sure you’re right.

    • Thomas Mills

      Thanks for commenting Greg. I have to say, though, you seem suffer from Mitt Romney 47% disease. Everybody is stupid, immoral or corrupt but you and people who agree with you. Elections are about voters, not politicians or political parties. If you’re going to write them all off, don’t expect to win too many elections.

      • Greg Dail

        You’re right again Mr. Mills, but please don’t be too hard on me. You see I suffer from an incurable disease known as reality based reasoning, and I can add and subtract pretty good as well. So sometimes I’m a bit too judgmental with the lazy, self-centered, “the world owes me a living” crowd our corrupt and greedy politicians are so adept at exploiting. Please forgive me, I didn’t mean to offend.

  5. Unaffiliated Voter

    Brannon is the big front runner already…strive to keep up with the REAL race!

    • Thomas Mills

      I hope you’re right. If he’s the nominee, Hagan will win by double digits and have coattails.

      • Rick

        Keep dreaming lefty! Hagan is an Obama bobblehead. She has done nothing but hurt North Carolina

  6. geek49203

    Since I’m both unemployed AND uninsured due to ACA, I’m sure I’ll be active in this election. A Senator that doesn’t vote my way can at least provide good constituent services, but Hagan’s staff has been woeful with my plight — one aide told me to “Call the White House” while another told me to “Call the IRS.”

    So look for me at Hagan appearances, where I’ll be holding a huge sign explaining my situation, and how Kay’s votes caused my plight, and how her office was incredible ham-fisted in helping me out.

Related Posts


Get the latest posts from PoliticsNC delivered right to your inbox!

You have Successfully Subscribed!