Congressional District 3: Jones (R)

Rating: Strong Republican

Voter Registration by Race: 72% White, 23% Black, 4% Hispanic, 2% Other

Voter Registration by Party: 36% Democratic, 33% Republican, 31% Unaffiliated

2016 Presidential Election Result: 61% Trump, 37% Clinton, 3% Other

CD-03 covers most of North Carolina’s coast and much of its inner Coastal Plain, stretching from the Virginia border down the Outer Banks before terminating near Camp Lejeune. Major cities in CD-03 include Jacksonville, Havelock, New Bern, Kinston, Greenville, and Elizabeth City, although the district is predominantly rural. Perhaps its most notable features are the beaches and coastal towns of the Outer Banks, which have brought impressive population growth and tourism revenue to the region. Like the rest of eastern North Carolina, CD-03 was long a Democratic stronghold, but recent decades have seen the area shift to the GOP en masse as affluent, predominantly white voters retire along the shores of the Outer Banks and rural conservatives abandon their Democratic heritage in support of Republican candidates. Democrats still maintain a slim voter registration advantage in CD-03, although this is not reflected in election results – the district last supported Democrat candidates for statewide elected office in 2008, and it gave Trump his third-best margin of victory of any district in North Carolina in 2016. Within the district, Democrats generally perform best in counties with larger African American populations (Chowan, Pasquotank, Tyrrell, Hyde, Pitt, Greene, Lenoir, Jones), while the GOP dominates essentially everywhere else.

2018 Candidates

Total Raised (2017-2018)

Total Spent (2017-2018)

Cash on Hand (June 2018)

Debts Owed (June 2018)

Walter Jones


$498,034.38 $475,450.47 $127,727.89



GOP Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr. was first elected in 1994, defeating a Democratic incumbent to become the first Republican to represent CD-03 since 1871. A Farmville native, Jones had switched parties to run for Congress, having previously served five terms as a Democrat representing Pitt County in the state legislature. In his time on Capitol Hill, Jones has established an almost unparalleled reputation for political independence – he became known for his opposition to the Iraq War and tendency to buck party leadership on major policy votes, resulting in his forced removal from the House Financial Services Committee in 2012. Jones’ independent streak has also drawn the ire of many Republicans in his district, and he frequently faces primary opposition from those campaigning as more traditional conservatives.

This year, GOP challengers Phil Law and Scott Dacey each garnered nearly thirty percent of the Republican primary vote to Jones’ 43%, with Law carrying Lenoir and Jones counties and Dacey winning Onslow. The congressman, however, will have a much easier time in the general election – not one Democrat filed to oppose him, likely due to his broad popularity and history of success among the district’s general electorate. Indeed, Jones was reelected in 2016 with over two-thirds of the vote against his Democratic opponent, winning all of the district’s counties and besting the margin of every other Republican congressional nominee in the state. Jones is one of only three GOP congressmen across the United States without a Democratic opponent this year, a testament to his widespread approval.


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