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This week's Exile on Jones Street print column features a rundown of the 13 congressional races in North Carolina.
Here's the text:

The morning line on N.C. congressional races
There are 13, count `em, 13 Congressional races on North Carolina's card this year, most of them longshots for the challengers. Here's the rundown, by congressional district:

District 1: In this heavily Democratic district that includes Rocky Mount, Kinston, New Bern, Roanoke Rapids and Henderson, incumbent G. K. Butterfield drew no challenger.

District 2: A chunk of Raleigh, along with Sanford, Dunn, Clinton, Smithfield and Spring Lake make up a conservative but Democratic-leaning district. Incumbent Democrat Bob Etheridge looks safe. His opponent, Dan Mansell, is campaigning but way behind.

District 3: Some of the state's richest and poorest coastal counties make up the third district, along with Greenville, Morehead City and the military towns of Jacksonville and Havelock. With a huge number of active and retired military personnel, this is a district where veterans' affairs and constituent services are almost synonymous. Incumbent Walter B. Jones Jr. has managed to do something envied by most politicos of any stripe--call for withdrawal from Iraq and deflect any charge he's soft on terror. Democrat Craig Weber, a former Marine and TV anchor, hasn't gotten a lot of traction.

District 4: The moderate havens of Cary, Apex and Fuquay-Varina are swamped by Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and Durham--the bluest of the state's blue dots. If Democrats take the house, Rep. David Price would likely become a committee chair. His challenger, Steve Acuff, is more active than some of his predecessors, but isn't likely to break 35 percent.

District 5: This one stretches from Boone to Kernersville, from Statesville to Mount Airy. Incumbent Republican Virginia Foxx, tied closely to the Bush administration, has had a bumpy campaign, and challenger Roger Sharpe has seen a steady growth in momentum. A lot of the netroot pundits are saying this one could tip, and even some of the old school say first-termer Foxx could be swept away if the Democratic tide is big enough. But this is a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats. Oddly, it may all hinge on Mayberry.

District 6: Asheboro, Southern Pines, Burlington and Guilford (minus Greensboro) make up this Republican stronghold. Eleven-term incumbent Howard Coble has a firm lead and is highlighting the daylight between himself and the Bush administration. Challenger Rory Blake, a retired pharmacist, may have some momentum, but my hound, who is from this district, says Coble is far from treed.

District 7: Wilmington, Lumberton and Fayetteville are the metroplexes in this largely rural district, and incumbent Democrat Mike McIntyre has played it conservative of late as one of only two N.C. Dems to vote for the terrorism detainee act. He's comfortably in the lead against Shirley Davis of Clinton, who seems to be running a "God Bless America"-themed campaign.

District 8: From Laurinburg to Kannapolis and Concord, the 8th District is hurting from the decline in textiles and other manufacturing. So is incumbent Republican Robin Hayes, who has been dogged with a grassroots challenger who's caught fire. Come Tuesday night first week in November, you'll hear the name Larry Kissell as the networks try to gauge the size of the aforementioned Democratic tide.

District 9: Sue Myrick, challenged by Democrat Bill Glass, decided not to run for governor. Glass has been hitting her hard on her support of Bush on Iraq, but Myrick's comfortable suburban Republican district surrounding Charlotte will dutifully send her back to D.C. again.

District 10: The furniture towns of Lenoir, Hickory and Morganton are hurting just like the textile towns to the east, but unlike Robin Hayes, incumbent Republican Patrick McHenry doesn't have a strong enough opponent to tap into that. He beats Richard Carsner, but the increasingly unlikable McHenry is probably toast in a GOP primary in `08.

District 11: Television, robo-call and mailing money is pouring into this race. If I lived in Asheville, Hendersonville or Waynesville, I would vote early and go on vacation. Incumbent Charles Taylor is going to fight like mad to keep his seat. But Democrat Heath Shuler is proving to be a solid campaigner in the air and on the ground. Quarterback keeper for the win.

District 12: The I-85 district that runs from Winston-Salem to Charlotte has belonged to Mel Watt since it was drawn up. Challenger Ada Fisher doesn't have enough gas for the drive.

District 13: This Greensboro-Roxboro-Raleigh district offers the strangest race in the country with out-of-district-challenger Vernon Robinson giving everyone a case of the icks at a recent debate. Unfortunately, incumbent Brad Miller has to take a well-funded crackpot seriously. Miller wins this and the tally for Robinson mirrors the number of voters with either no clue or no shame.

Originally posted to ludkmr on Thu Oct 26, 2006 at 07:04 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice summary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serrano

    Thanks so much.

    One question:  District 12, is Watt Republican?  I'm not from NC.  

    Also, any polls on the Shuler race?

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2790+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

    by Miss Blue on Thu Oct 26, 2006 at 07:10:08 AM PDT

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    Exellent breakdown.

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. John Stuart Mill

    by dmsarad on Thu Oct 26, 2006 at 07:24:47 AM PDT

  •  Saw the debate between Brad Miller and Vernon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, Fredneck

    Robinson and I must tell you that my mouth hit the floor and never went back into place.  Mr. Robinson who apparently doesn't even live in District 13 thought he was on a "Sex" talk show.  It reminded me so much of the Obama/Keys debates in my home state of Illinois. I don't think Mr. Robinson answered one question without mentioning sex. Is this the trend in current politics? Does it really win elections?

    •  LOL! (0+ / 0-)

      Oh brother, and I suppose if Robinson wins we'll soon be hearing of some sex scandal involving mules or something.

      Where do these people come from?  

      "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2810+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

      by Miss Blue on Thu Oct 26, 2006 at 07:28:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NC 08 is the most inspiring... (7+ / 0-)

    there was a time when i was a younger man that i lived in that area - and seeing kissell taking-off there gives me a lot of hope. people in the blue dot areas of chapel hill, durham, etc. should seriously, seriously consider voting early and heading-off to 08 or 11 to volenteer.  it is going to be all about GOTV.

  •  dist 13 polls? (0+ / 0-)

    What boggles my mind is, if Robinson is such a well-funded thread to Miller, how come no body has yet to publish a poll on the district?  I'd think it'd be a top priority, so that the Dems could see if Robinson is really a serious threat, and whether or not they can relax there and concentrate more on Districts 8 and 11.  

  •  Argh! (0+ / 0-)

    With all the excitement behind Kissell, Sharpe & Shuler, it's really irritating that we couldn't field a stronger candidate against Coble in NC-6.  With this "Perfect Storm" for the Democrats to whip up on the GOP in NC, all it would have taken was a serious candidate like any of these three men to take out Coble. If he wins, this empty suit will begin his 12th term?  This is outrageous.  

    NC-6 is gerrymandered beyond belief, but Coble can be beat. It just doesn't look like it'll happen this year.

    "Our Congressman" my ass.

    PROUD DEMOCRAT Wristbands: Stand tall Democrats and be proud of what you stand for!

    by brendan1963 on Thu Oct 26, 2006 at 08:01:30 AM PDT

    •  Gerrymandering (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gogol, RoIn

      You kinda answered your own question there.  I don't think a NC district is more Republican than that one.

      Another perfect example of why working for Dems in the State Legislatures is a critical component to get Dems in the US House---in most states, as in NC, they draw those districts.

  •  Be Still My Beating Heart! (0+ / 0-)

    but the increasingly unlikable McHenry is probably toast in a GOP primary in `08.

    Can you elaborate?  He needs to loose before he runs statewaide.

    •  From a previous column (0+ / 0-)

      One of the Mayors in his district will likely challenge him next time out. It's a bit of an inter-party feud.
      From a previous column (August 5 on the blog, Aug. 1 in print):

      Shooting star

      Speaking of McHenry, whose 10th Congressional District includes Shelby, Morganton and the furniture towns of Lenoir and Hickory, he’s had a particularly strange few months. In April, he was officially censured by the North Carolina College Republicans for aggressively intervening in a national college Republican leadership election. The organization was so miffed that it dropped his name from its annual Rising Star award. That’s a suitable analogy since it appears that McHenry, who in the House hitched his star to Team Delay, may be riding that comet down.

      It won’t happen this year, though, since he avoided a primary fight in May with Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright. And as of last Friday, McHenry has raised $1.1 million compared to $9.7 thousand raised by his Democratic challenger, Richard Carsner. But word is that Mayor Wright may not be so accommodating in ‘08. Should McHenry, who won the nomination in 2004 by 85 votes, be worried? Well, in a recent Washington Times article, he was one of three young reps named by The Hammer himself as “the next Tom Delay.”

      Take that any way you’d like.

  •  Great diary! (0+ / 0-)

    Very good rundown.

    I work in the 6th district and there is a meme going around about how it is time for Coble to go... this is from LONG TIME GOPers and Coble supporters.

    His whole voting against the Horse Protection Act (prevents the slaughter of horses for human consumption and blocked imports of horse meat) was a 'jump the shark' moment for Coble.

    I have heard nothing but Coble anger for the last month. Not as strong of a tide as exists against Foxx in the 5th District, but it is palpable - which is saying something.

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