Rating: Strong Republican
Voter Registration by Race: 92% White, 3% Black, 3% Hispanic, 3% Other
Voter Registration by Party: 36% Republican, 33% Unaffiliated, 30% Democratic
2016 Presidential Election Result: 63% Trump, 34% Clinton, 3% Other
CD-11 covers much of North Carolina’s portion of the Appalachian Mountains. The district is predominantly rural, although it does contain the suburbs of the Asheville metropolitan area (largely in Buncombe and Henderson counties) and around half of the Hickory metropolitan area (Burke and Caldwell counties). Most of CD-11 has been solidly Republican for decades, although five of the district’s rural counties – Swain, Jackson, Haywood, Madison, and Yancey – have a distinct Democratic tradition that continues today on the state and local levels. To dilute the area’s Democratic influence, Republican legislators drew much of urban Asheville (Buncombe County) into the neighboring CD-10, leaving only the GOP-leaning portions of Buncombe in CD-11. This arrangement has resulted in CD-11 becoming the most Republican district in North Carolina (as well as the whitest) – Donald Trump won the district in 2016 by his largest margin statewide, and only in CD-11 do Democrats have fewer registered voters than both Republicans and unaffiliated voters. The large number of unaffiliated voters in CD-11 is mainly due to the recent influx of retirees in the region, most of whom prefer to formally identify with neither party despite almost always supporting GOP candidates at the ballot box.
|Total Raised (2017-2018)||Total Spent (2017-2018)||Cash on Hand (June 2018)||Debts Owed (June 2018)|
Republican Mark Meadows was first elected to represent CD-11 in 2012, filling the seat vacated by retiring Democrat Heath Shuler. Shuler had decided against seeking a fourth term in Congress after GOP legislators removed Asheville from his district, diluting the incumbent’s main source of Democratic supporters. Meadows, a current resident of Transylvania County, won the open seat with 57% of the district’s vote in 2012 and has easily been reelected twice, most recently winning a third term in 2016 with 64%. This comes as the congressman gains a nearly unparalleled conservative reputation on Capitol Hill – he played a major role in triggering the 2013 federal government shutdown over Obamacare funding, and he introduced a resolution to remove John Boehner as Speaker of the House in 2015. Meadows currently chairs the Tea Party-aligned House Freedom Caucus, frequently butting heads with GOP leadership and using his group’s leverage to drive congressional policy to the right.
This year, Meadows – who won an overwhelming 86% of the district’s 2018 GOP primary vote – will compete in the general election against Democrat Phillip Price, a lumber company owner who has lived throughout the district and currently resides in McDowell County. Running a largely grassroots campaign, Price won the Democratic primary with 41% of the vote, winning each of the district’s counties other than Henderson and Transylvania (the home counties of his two opponents). Price’s fundraising, however, pales in comparison to that of the Meadows campaign, although neither of the two candidates have raised particularly large sums. In North Carolina’s most Republican district, Meadows has endeared himself to staunch conservatives and the district’s electorate at large, giving him virtual certainty of fourth term in Congress.