Former state senator David Rouzer, last year a candidate for Congress, has announced that he’s going to make another run next year. Rouzer lost to conservative Democrat Mike McIntyre by less than 1,000 votes, coming very close to fulfilling the NC GOP’s hopes for a 10-3 Republican delegation.
McIntyre narrowly averted defeat by burnishing his conservative credentials and distancing himself from the policies of President Obama. McIntyre refused to endorse the President last year, and the ads he ran depicted a man so conservative that there was little for Rouzer to attack him on.
Rouzer probably won’t be unopposed in the Republican primary, though Ilario Pantano doesn’t seem interested in running again.
Given that 2014 is a midterm election and Republicans tend to do better, one might think that McIntyre is very vulnerable to defeat. He is – but he’s not doomed. Having been reelected, he now has the chance to reach out to parts of the district who did not know him so well in the past. And one must remember that the 10 Republican districts in North Carolina are fairly inoculated from the Obama-style electorate – his voters have mostly been packed in the 3 Democratic districts.
The demographics of the district are also slowly changing. The old yellow dog Democrats are dying out, and there are a lot more Republicans, especially in the Wilmington area. McIntyre’s incumbency gives him an advantage and puts him in a stronger position than he would have been otherwise, but he’ll be in Republican crosshairs regardless. It’s going to be a toss-up race.
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.