by WorldTribune Staff, November 18, 2018
Shifting demographics have relegated Republicans to the endangered species list in metropolitan areas in red states. One notable example is Charlotte, North Carolina.
“The ground is shifting beneath” urban Republicans, Eric Heberlig, a political scientist at UNC Charlotte told the Charlotte Observer.
Statewide, the North Carolina Democratic Party broke a Republican supermajority in the General Assembly, for the first time since the 2010 elections. Without the three-fifths supermajority in both houses, Republicans will no longer be able to override vetoes from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
That pattern is being repeated in other large urban areas around the United States.
John Hood, chairman of the conservative John Locke Foundation, wrote last week in the Carolina Journal that Democrats are widening their influence beyond the urban areas to the close-in suburbs.
“If Democrats can retain the allegiance of inner-suburb voters, the GOP will struggle in future elections,” Hood wrote.
The loss of Republican seats came largely from losses in the growing Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham urban areas.
In the 2018 midterms in Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, all three Republican incumbents on the board of county commissioners lost, the Observer noted. Republicans lost one of their two state Senate seats and four of five House seats in Mecklenburg. For the fifth seat, Democrat Rachel Hunt declared victory over GOP Rep. Bill Brawley on Nov. 15, with provisional ballots still being counted last week.
Hunt’s victory would leave Sen. Dan Bishop as the only Republican in the county’s 17-member legislative delegation.
On the 11-member Charlotte City Council, Tariq Bokhari and Ed Driggs are the only Republicans.
“We could very well be in the last days of Republicans being elected in Charlotte,” Bokhari said.
To avoid that, Bokhari said Republicans must talk about issues such as affordable housing while maintaining their platform of lower taxes and smaller government.
“We need to figure out what these constituents care about and make sure we’re aligning our principles to something they actually care about,” he said. “It’s in urban America that we are continually going the route of the dinosaur and the dodo bird.”
The Observer noted that in the Nov. 6 election “Precincts that voted Republican for years suddenly went Democratic.”