Congressional District 7: Rouzer (R) vs. Horton (D) vs. Fallin (C)

Rating: Likely Republican

Voter Registration by Race: 73% White, 21% Black, 4% Hispanic, 2% Other

Voter Registration by Party: 37% Democratic, 34% Republican, 29% Unaffiliated

2016 Presidential Election Result: 58% Trump, 40% Clinton, 2% Other

CD-07 covers a large swath of southeastern North Carolina, stretching from Raleigh’s exurbs in the Piedmont to the Wilmington on the coast. The quickly growing coastal counties of New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender together contain over half of the district’s population – New Hanover, home to a substantial African American population in Wilmington and rapidly diversifying suburbs, is politically competitive but typically favors the GOP, while Brunswick and Pender are both defined by predominantly white, affluent retirees who overwhelmingly support Republicans. Outside of the Wilmington area, the district is largely rural, defined by ancestrally Democratic counties in which white voters have transferred en masse to the GOP in recent years (a plurality of voters in CD-07 are still registered Democrats). Within the district, Democrats still have electoral support among rural African American voters in Columbus and Bladen counties, Hispanic agricultural workers in Sampson and Duplin counties, and African American voters in Goldsboro (Wayne County), although not by large enough margins to curtail white voters’ newfound loyalty to the GOP. The district’s portion of Johnston County, meanwhile, consists of predominantly white Raleigh exurbs and rural areas historically loyal to GOP candidates. Indeed, CD-07 today is solidly Republican throughout – no Democrat has won the district in a statewide race since 2008, and it’s the only district in North Carolina where Donald Trump won every county in 2016.

2018 Candidates Total Raised (2017-2018) Total Spent (2017-2018) Cash on Hand (June 2018)

Debts Owed (June 2018)

David Rouzer


$1,160,774.02 $449,595.63 $1,379,307.69


Kyle Horton


$343,299.27 $241,906.13 $103.393.14


David Fallin


$0.00 $0.00 $0.00



In 2014, David Rouzer, a former Johnston County state senator with roots in the agribusiness sector, was elected the first Republican to represent CD-07 since 1871. He replaced Congressman Mike McIntyre, a conservative Democrat who had defeated Rouzer two years earlier by a mere 654 votes – the closest margin of any congressional race in 2012. McIntyre was the only rural Democrat in North Carolina to have survived the newly-implemented GOP gerrymander that year, and upon determining that he could no longer win such a red district amidst the Republican wave of 2014, he decided to retire, allowing Rouzer to capture the open seat.

Rouzer has proven popular in the ancestrally Democratic CD-07, having defeated Democratic opponents with 59% and 61% of the district’s vote in 2014 and 2016, respectively. This year, Rouzer faces Kyle Horton, a New Hanover County internist who won 67% of the vote in the district’s Democratic primary. Although Horton has developed a spirited campaign, she has struggled to gain traction outside of the Wilmington area – she lost the district’s three northernmost counties in the Democratic primary to a near-anonymous opponent, despite winning over 80% in New Hanover and Brunswick. Moreover, Rouzer has dominated in terms of campaign fundraising, with access to more than ten times as much cash on hand as Horton as of June 2018.

Democrats in the district have pointed to a recent poll that gives Horton a four-point lead, although as the poll was conducted internally by the Horton campaign, it is almost certain to be skewed in her favor. Rouzer remains a well-liked, well-funded incumbent in a district dominated by conservative, Democratic-turned-Republican voters, making the congressman a likely bet to win his third term.


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