Happy New Year and good riddance 2020. It’s time to look back at my predictions for 2020 and make a few about 2021. Let’s hope it’s a better year than the one that just passed.
Last year, I predicted that Joe Biden would win the Democratic primary in North Carolina. I also predicted that if Biden won the nomination, North Carolina would go narrowly for him while Trump would lose nationally in a landslide. Trump won North Carolina and lost by a wide margin nationally, but not enough to call it a landslide.
In other races, I predicted that Roy Cooper would be re-elected by a margin of 52-48. He won 52-47. I also predicted Cal Cunningham would be the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate and the election would hinge on whether or not Trump won the state. I predicted that Democrats would take the state house but they actually lost seats.
I did not predict the coronavirus or the awakening that’s taken place in the wake of George Floyd’s death. I did not foresee Cunningham’s sex scandal. I did not predict that Trump and his minions would refuse to concede. I vastly underestimated the Republican Party’s descent into authoritarianism and conspiracy theories.
In 2021, we will see continued rancor on the political landscape. About a third of the GOP Members of Congress will vote to overturn the will of the people. Right-wing mobs will descend on Washington on January 6 with sporadic incidents of violence continuing through the inauguration. The conservative press and think tanks here in North Carolina will continue their silence about Members of Congress trying to undermine our Constitution, government, electoral system. They will not consider the armed threats from right-wing militia while continuing to warn of the dangers of organizations like Black Lives Matter, conflating any protestors with Antifa.
Nationally, the Biden administration will hit the ground running on distributing the COVID vaccine. By the summer, most people who want to be vaccinated will be vaccinated. Our economy will boom with people travelling and spending money saved during the pandemic.
The recovery, though, will further highlight the discrepancies in our society. While the middle class that kept their jobs during the pandemic will thrive, those that lost their jobs will face pressure once evictions continue again and rest of the public shows little appetite for more expensive relief measures.
In Georgia, Republicans Loeffler and Perdue keep their Senate seats in the run-off election. I hope I am wrong, but I am also a Southerner who has been disappointed too many times.
With control of the Senate again, Mitch McConnell will continue his obstructionism. He will prove Biden wrong in his prediction that he can work with the Senate. The left will quickly turn on Democrats in Washington for not doing what they don’t have the power to do.
The strong economy and end of drastic pandemic measures, though, will play in Biden’s favor and he will be popular for at least the first year of his tenure. There will be a collective sigh of relief once Leader of the Free World quits lying and threatening the people he serves and our allies abroad.
In North Carolina, Republicans will redraw legislative and Congressional districts with continued enthusiasm for gerrymandering. However, with the state’s growth in more urban/suburban regions, they will draw some particularly skewed districts, splitting counties and precincts to protect their majorities in the legislature, leaving the courts to decide the legitimacy of the districts. They will draw Congressional districts to guarantee the GOP keeps a majority in the delegation but the new district we get will be Democratic-leaning though competitive.
By the end of the year, the Democratic and Republican primaries for U.S. Senate will be crowded and contentious. Congressional primaries will also get crowded with new districts, though incumbents will dominate in fundraising and organization.
That’s about it for now. Hope everyone has a happy and safe new year.
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 >