According to Cook Political Report, House races are quickly moving toward Democrats. They moved 20 races across the country toward Democrats, including two here in North Carolina. In NC-08 where Democrat Pat Timmons-Goodson faces incumbent Republican Richard Hudson, Cook moved the race from Likely Republican to Lean Republican. In NC-09 where Democrat Cynthia Wallace faces incumbent Republican Dan Bishop, the race moved from Solid Republican to Likely Republican.
In NC-08, Timmons-Goodson outraised Hudson by more than 2-1 in the 2nd Quarter filings that just came out. She raised a whopping $840,000 and she’s garnered national attention both for her profile and her aggressive campaign. While Hudson has been in Congress since 2012, the district is new and he needs to introduce himself to almost 25% of the people in the district. In addition, Timmons-Goodson is from Cumberland County which makes up more than 40% of the new district. It will be one of the premier Congressional races of the cycle.
While Timmons-Goodson has the attention of much of the political establishment both in North Carolina and the country, the race in NC-09 is where Democrats need to turn their attention next. Like NC-08, the district is new, redrawn in December 2019 and includes some of the fastest shifting areas in North Carolina. While it stretches from Mecklenburg to Robeson County, much of the population is in Southeast Charlotte where white suburban voters are fleeing the GOP. A handful of legislative districts that fall within the boundaries of NC-09 that were solidly Republican just a few years ago, flipped to Democrat in 2018. If that trend continues in 2020, the race could be one the cycle’s sleepers.
Cynthia Wallace has proven to be reliably hard working and dynamic candidate. She won a primary in March against a crowded field and basically had to start from scratch afterwards. She’s raised more than $200,000 so far and has more than $165,000 cash on hand. While that number may seem low compared to other races, it shows a solid commitment to fundraising and huge ability to grow. She just needs the Democratic establishment to jump on board.
In contrast, her opponent is Republican Dan Bishop, a culture warrior who courts white supremacists and sponsored the infamous Bathroom Bill. Bishop won the seat by beating Dan McCready in the old 9th District in a special election. Bishop continues to court controversy and tries more to divide than unite. He attended the ReOpenNC rallies, shunning masks and criticizing the governor. If the virus continues to spread, that could prove to be a bad decision.
Bishop also raised $205,000 for the 2nd Quarter, a paltry amount for a sitting Member of Congress, and has less than $500,000 cash on hand. Wallace could certainly compete with him with those numbers. She needs to keep her focus on fundraising and organizing. The eastern part of the district has a sizable African American and Lumbee Indian population. If they show up in big numbers, Bishop has a race on his hands that he appears to be taking for granted.
North Carolina has been the focus of the presidential contest and the race for control of the U.S. Senate. Now, it’s front and center in Democrats’ effort to both expand their majority in the House and make it look more like America. Timmons-Goodson’s race will be a marquee contest going down the stretch and Wallace could be the sleeper race of the cycle.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >