Congressional District 13: Budd (R) vs. Manning (D) vs. Bailey (L) vs. Corriher (G)

Rating: Tossup

Voter Registration by Race: 69% White, 24% Black, 4% Hispanic, 3% Other

Voter Registration by Party: 36% Republican, 35% Democratic, 28% Unaffiliated

2016 Presidential Election Result: 53% Trump, 44% Clinton, 3% Other

CD-13 covers a geographically diverse portion of the Piedmont region, stretching from the urban core of the Triad metropolitan area in the east to the exurbs of the Charlotte metropolitan area in the west. The Republican-leaning district is key to North Carolina’s GOP gerrymander – it splits the Democratic vote in Guilford County with the neighboring CD-06, pairing its portion of Greensboro and High Point with four solidly Republican counties to their west to dilute the cities’ Democratic influence. The four CD-13 counties west of Guilford are all ancestral GOP strongholds that have trended even more Republican in recent years – two are dominated by exurbs of the Triad (Davidson and Davie), one largely contains exurbs of Charlotte (Iredell), and the other is located between the two metropolitan areas (Rowan). Of the Republican counties in CD-13, only the district’s portion of Rowan is likely to vote Democratic, as it contains the solidly Democratic city of Salisbury and most of its rural portions were drawn into another district. Other Democratic cities in the district include Statesville (Iredell), Lexington (Davidson), and Thomasville (also Davidson), although none are large enough to overcome their counties’ solidly Republican rural and exurban areas.

Overall, CD-13 generally favors Republicans, although it can be competitive – Democrats won the district in four of the ten elections for statewide office in 2012, and it was the closest of North Carolina’s congressional districts in the 2016 presidential election. Moreover, the GOP only has a one-point voter registration advantage over Democrats in the district, notable given that most of its counties have ancestrally been in the Republican column.

2018 Candidates

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

Ted Budd


$1,219,617.15 $460,266.68 $778,943.16 $50,000

Kathy Manning


$1,935,360.55 $590,007.62 $1,345,352.93


Tom Bailey


$0.00 $0.00 $0.00


Robert Corriher


$0.00 $0.00 $0.00



Davie County gun store owner Ted Budd was first elected to Congress in 2016, succeeding fellow Republican George Holding after new congressional maps moved the incumbent to another district. In the only 2016 North Carolina congressional election without an incumbent running, Budd won the seventeen-way Republican primary with 20% of the vote. He won the general election in the newly-drawn district with 56%, making his congressional election the closest in North Carolina – the small margin was likely due to both his lack of incumbency and the district’s relatively competitive nature.

This year, Budd faces Democrat Kathy Manning, a Greensboro-area philanthropist and former immigration lawyer well-known in the Triad for her fundraising and civic initiatives. Manning, who won the Democratic primary with over 70%, has managed an exceptional ground game and excelled in fundraising, likely due to her philanthropic connections and her husband’s prominence in the real estate sector. Her campaign has raised nearly two million over the course of the election cycle, and she currently has almost twice as much cash on hand as Budd. A Civitas poll conducted in July placed Manning five points behind the incumbent, although the Democrat has since increased her advertising outlays and further developed her campaign’s efforts on the ground.

This race is also unique in that four names will appear on the November ballot – in addition to Budd and Manning, Libertarian Party candidate Tom Bailey and Green Party candidate Robert Corriher have both filed to run. Corriher is the only Green Party congressional candidate in North Carolina this year, a daunting prospect for Manning given that the party often siphons votes away from Democratic candidates. Indeed, the Green Party only gained official recognition in North Carolina after GOP legislators passed a law this year easing ballot access restrictions, likely in an attempt to get Green Party candidates like Corriher to file in competitive races and split the support of left-leaning voters. Both Bailey and Corriher registered at 3% in the Civitas poll, suggesting third parties may play a decisive role in the CD-13 race.

Although CD-13 leans Republican, Manning has developed campaign and fundraising infrastructure nearly unparalleled in North Carolina congressional races, making this election a true tossup.


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