North Carolina State Senate District 27: State Sen. Trudy Wade (R) vs. Michael K. Garrett (D)

The state’s 27th Senate district is located in suburban Guilford County. It’s a strongly Republican district – so strong that last year, the incumbent, Trudy Wade, went unopposed. This time, Wade has an opponent and the district has become one to watch.

Driving the competitiveness is controversy over SB 36, a Senate bill sponsored by Wade that would have redistricted the Greensboro City Council. While the redistricting was struck down by the courts, anger remains. Democrat Michael Garrett hopes to capitalize on that anger in order to defeat Wade in this conservative district.

That will be easier said than done, though polling done by PPP in the wake of the SB 36 controversy gives him some hope. While District 27 residents supported a generic Republican over a generic Democrat for the legislature 52-37, Wade’s approval rating was only 30%, with 54% disapproving. And in the same poll, only 28% said they would vote to reelect Wade, while 60% wanted someone new.

So why does this district get a rating of “Likely Republican”? Simple: it’s a Republican district (though Kay Hagan did carry it in her 2008 Senate run). It’s so Republican that Wade would probably only lose in a wave, even with her unfavorable numbers, which have probably decreased now that the controversy has simmered down. Moreover, it’s not clear if anger about the Greensboro redistricting is widespread or restricted to the city’s political class. Plus, politically that fight was a long time ago.

Democrats have at least landed a decent recruit: Michael Garrett, a small business owner who emphasizes raising teacher pay and lowering taxes on working families on his campaign site. As of the last financial quarter, Garrett’s campaign had about $39,000 cash on hand. Wade, however, had over $150,000 cash on hand.

In the end, the lean of the district and Wade’s massive financial advantage makes this a reach for Democrats. It’s probably a reach too far.

Counties in district: Guilford (part)

District Rating: Likely Republican

2014 Result
100.0% Wade (R)

Voter Registration
39.7% Democrat
37.8% Republican
22.5% Unaffiliated

79.0% White
16.6% Black
4.4% Other

Results in Other Elections
2012 President
54.4% Romney
44.7% Obama

2012 Governor
59.0% McCrory
38.8% Dalton

2010 Senate
61.2% Burr
36.8% Marshall

2008 Senate
50.4% Hagan
46.7% Dole

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