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Rep. Sue Myrick (R)
Rep. Sue Myrick (R)
From GOP Rep. Sue Myrick's Facebook page:
“After thoughtful discussion with my family, I have decided not to run for another term in Congress. I’m grateful for the privilege of serving you. We have all been blessed by staff members who truly care and delight in helping to solve problems for everyone in the district. Thanks for the trust you have placed in us all these years. We will spend the rest of the year working on the issues that are important to all of you – and I hope to be a positive influence in all our negotiations. I hope you will join me in praying that God will heal our nation. May God bless you and your family.”
I've gotta say, not only did I not see this one coming, I'm not even sure I have a single thing to say about her. Well, okay, I'll try. One of the only times we ever mentioned Myrick back at the old Swing State Project was over four years ago, when Democrat Harry Taylor announced he'd run against her. Does the name ring a bell? He's the guy who famously stood up at a George W. Bush town hall in 2006 and declared to the president: "I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself." Taylor's moxie was inspiring, but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome the extremely conservative nature of the 9th District, and Myrick cruised to reelection, 62-36.

More recently, she became infamous as a grade-A islamophobe, even writing the foreward to a book called "Muslim Mafia" and alleging the existence of a network of Muslim intern spies on Capitol Hill (!). Last year, she cancelled her appearances at events commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks because she claimed she was a target of the Iranian government. In reality, her name merely appeared in a re-written version of a report by the Center for American Progress.

In any event, while I'm sure no one will miss Myrick, she's likely to be replaced in Congress by a member of her own party. Though the redrawn 9th District got just a touch bluer in redistricting, it still went for John McCain by a 54-45 margin. That actually makes the seat more Dem-friendly than either the 7th, 8th, or 11th (looking purely at presidential numbers)—districts all currently held by Democrats, and all targeted by the GOP. So it's possible the right kind of candidate could come along and make this seat competitive, but Team Blue already has its hands full in North Carolina. No matter what, though, we'll follow further developments here closely.

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Comment Preferences

  •  NC-09 has been Republican for the last 50 years (6+ / 0-)

    Still, a good start to be rid of that one. Can Virginia Foxx be far behind?

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 12:00:28 PM PST

  •  This seat really isn't less R than the 7th or 8th (14+ / 0-)

    This has been the bastion of suburban Republicanism in North Carolina, and while it is trending fast towards Democrats like Obama, will continue to support local Republicans such as Myrick for while longer. State Dems perform significantly worse here than Obama did.

    Still, if we were to land someone such as Anthony Foxx, and Republicans put up a crazy nominee, then we would be able to compete.

    •  To clarify (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, ArkDem14

      I was looking purely at presidential numbers.

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 12:30:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I realize you were, I didn't mean to be pedantic (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, Odysseus, MichaelNY

        But the presidential numbers are very misleading here and I wanted to point this out for everyone.

        This seat has much more in common with MN-06 which we discussed the other day as being very hard for Dems to win because these suburban Republican voters are much more straight-ticket voters.

        •  That's a very fair point, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is there anything resembling a Democratic bench here?

        •  IL-06 is a similar district to NC-09 as well (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, jncca, MichaelNY

          IL-06, currently represented by Republican Rep. Peter Roskam, shares many similarities to NC-09. The CPVI of IL-06, which is EVEN for its current boundaries and approx. R+3 for its redrawn boundaries, is a heavy underestimation of local GOP strength in that district, largely because Obama, a Chicagoan, drastically overperformed in the Chicago suburbs.

          •  IL-6 is actually pretty different though (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            since on top of the downballot suburban republican strength, Obama ALSO had a home state bonus.

            So down the ballot, it's really more like R+10.

            19, D, new CA-18 (home) new CA-13 (college). Economic liberal, social libertarian, fiscal conservative. Put your age and CD here :) -.5.38, -3.23 Check out my blog at

            by jncca on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 03:08:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed 100% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was going to point that out had you not.

      20, Male, NC the best state ever! Majoring in Piano Performance.

      by aggou on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 12:34:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  so it's the definition of an ancestrally (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MilesC, ehstronghold, MichaelNY

      Republican district.

      I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate, perhaps that's what no one wants to see. -6.38, -4.15

      by James Allen on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:29:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. Obama vastly improved on Kerry's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, MichaelNY, ArkDem14

        performance in this district, but this is still quite hostile territory for local Democrats.

        The PVI is deceivingly low. I'd also argue that this area is more Republican than the 7th, the 8th or even the 3rd.

        Progressive Dixiecrat. 19, LSU student, NC resident

        by MilesC on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:59:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But is it hostile because Democrats (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          try and fail or does it seem that way because they never try, in the sense of having legitimate, fully-funded campaigns? I wouldn't be surprised if it's the latter. I get that there are differences in how each voters might respond to different parties at different levels, but I have a hard time believing there's universal hostility if Obama received 45 percent.

          Now, even if I am right, it would still be a tough district for our side to win. Still, we shouldn't always think they won't vote for us if we never ask.

          •  I live in NC-09. Obama had a very strong (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            campaign effort here and he very much overperformed the local Republican lean of the district. For example, I campaigned with Harry Taylor in 2008 and he was the strongest Democrat to run in that district in a while...he got 36%.

            Progressive Dixiecrat. 19, LSU student, NC resident

            by MilesC on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 03:03:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Based on his fund raising (0+ / 0-)

              totals, it doesn't seem like he was all that strong. Not that such an indicator means everything, of course, but having the resources to compete is definitely a big, big factor.

          •  In 2004, George W. Bush (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, bumiputera

            got between 44% and 46% of the vote in the following districts:

            NJ    12    Holt
            TX    25    Doggett
            CA    51    Filner
            DE    AL    Carney
            IA    1    Braley
            MN    8    Cravaack
            WA    9    Smith, Adam
            CT    4    Himes
            ME    2    Michaud
            TX    20    Gonzalez
            MD    2    Ruppersberger
            MD    3    Sarbanes
            NM    3    Lujan
            NY    22    Hinchey
            NY    2    Israel
            NY    27    Higgins
            WA    6    Dicks
            TX    16    Reyes
            HI    2    Hirono
            NY    9    Turner
            OH    13    Sutton
            TX    29    Green, Gene
            IA    2    Loebsack
            IN    1    Visclosky
            NC    4    Price, David
            NY    4    McCarthy, Carolyn
            OR    1    Bonamici
            CT    2    Courtney
            Even after 2010, only MN-08 (and, later, NY-09) went Republican. The GOP held a few more recently, and have a decent shot at a few more under very favorable circumstances. But overall, I think it's pretty unlikely that the ol' college try is all that's keeping the Republicans from, say, NC-04, DE-AL, HI-02, or MD-03.

            26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

            by Xenocrypt on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 03:28:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So...what? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Your list just proves my point, but in the opposite direction: that some areas, while generally leaning towards our side, aren't so completely partisan that they won't consider voting for the other side. In some cases, this might only apply at the presidential level, but that probably isn't true in all areas.

              None of this is to say it will be easy; it probably won't be. The point is that, unlike certain New York City districts or certain Deep South districts, the voters there aren't so completely, outrageously partisan that they won't ever consider voting for the other party. That's at least something to work with. In the case of NC 09, we can take advantage of the possible blueing of the area but more specifically the fact that the incumbent isn't running. However big of an advantage you think it is, it's a plus in our direction, one we might not have again for many cycles.

  •  Don't let the door hit you (8+ / 0-)

    As anyone who has read my comments knows, I am far from the most rabid, "All Republicans are evil" type of posters ... but in this case, Congress is getting rid of one of their more extreme and stupid members.

  •  NC is going to have a lot of new reps (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aggou, jncca, MichaelNY

    next year. Well, like, 5, but still.

  •  Conservative Republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    More likely than not to be replaced by a conservative Republican.

    Ho hum.

    23, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

    by HoosierD42 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 12:28:20 PM PST

  •  Yes, she may be replaced by (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    puck nc, MichaelNY

    another conservative Republican. Nevertheless it will be good to see her go.

  •  Always surprised me that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Englishlefty, MichaelNY

    A former big-city Mayor became such a conservative Representative. I know Charlotte's had a lot of growth recently, and I think her Congressional district is more suburban, but it must have still been a pretty big city when she was the Mayor.

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

    by Xenocrypt on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:05:41 PM PST

    •  The voters in this district (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JGibson, Englishlefty, MichaelNY

      Vote Republican in local races as well as Federal, probably more so in local races. Obama did really well in the Charlotte area, winning 62% in Mecklenberg County but candidates in the past like Kerry only barely won Mecklenberg County, let alone coming close in the district. Even Clinton did not do very well in the area.

      It's different from the 7th district which votes Republican nationally but remains Democratic at a local level.

      For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog

      by Alibguy on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:14:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which makes me think that (0+ / 0-)

        they aren't entirely opposed to a Democrat. At the risk of sounding too simplistic, they just need to give one a shot and see he or she is okay. Then it's as if they vote Democratic, until they don't.

        •  I'm sorry, but this is simplistic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          imagine if the Republicans tried to make an argument like that about a district like MD-08.

          21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

          by sapelcovits on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 03:08:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, in MD 08, the best the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

            saw in recent years was 30 percent in 2004, which was about 13 or 14 points below the rest of the state.

            Or were you talking about people like Morella, and less directly, Erlich? That's a stronger point, but at the same time, Morella's district was rapidly bluing, wasn't it? And she was pretty damn liberal for a Republican, wasn't she?

            •  My point was more (0+ / 0-)

              the (IMO naive) belief that they can compete anywhere. Even for districts which aren't as blue as MD-08, Xenocrypt provides a great counterexample.

              21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

              by sapelcovits on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:08:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  MD-8 and NC-9 (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sapelcovits, MichaelNY

              In MD-8 (the current version, not the redistricted one), Bush got 30% in 2004, down from his 2000 showing, and McCain even less. Connie Morella's victories don't really justify the theory that once voters vote a Republican (in this district's case) in they'll decide the party is OK.

              They decided that she was OK but she was in fact very liberal for a Republican, and even when she was in office voters didn't embrace Republicans up and down the ballot; they mostly voted Democratic except for a few moderate/liberal Republican exceptions, and lately not even for them (even in 2010.) Connie herself ultimately lost her seat in 2002 after new Democrats unfamiliar with her were added to the district, but had she survived then she might well have lost later in the decade as the GOP label became too much even for personally popular Republicans like her to bear with voters in comparable districts.

              Of course, much of the current MD-8 was put into MD-6 in the new map, and several of the GOP candidates there have apparently, from their comments, fooled themselves into thinking that they'll carry or run well in that part of the district (Montgomery County.) Whoever emerges from that primary is going to get a slap of reality there in November, even if they somehow prevail districtwide.

              This relates to NC-9 in that we might have a chance there if circumstances are favorable (bad GOP candidate, GOP split, or surprisingly good Democrat) but that it won't mean any great willingness to vote Democratic overall, making the district hard to hold later.

              36, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

              by Mike in MD on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:10:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good comments about Connie Morella, but I (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                still think it's important to consider that we aren't swimming really swimming against a tide like Morella was. In fact, you could even say we are waiting for a rising tide to lift us up.

                But I think it's better to say that we are being asked to build something from almost nothing. We've got a chance for a solid foundation, but we need to work at it. Let's remember that this isn't an R+20 district or worse. You can argue that the presidential results don't mean much of anything for other types of races, but while that might be true, the presidential results indicate there's not a complete aversion to Democrats as there is in some other congressional districts. That might not be much, but it's something.

            •  My father actually thought Morella (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              was a Democrat when he worked the MD legislature to increase aid to public libraries.

              And an earlier Republican, Charles Mathias, ran TO THE LEFT of the Democratic candidate all three times he was elected to the US Senate. Given that one of the opponents was now-Sen. Barbara Mikulski, that is saying something.

              Those kinds of Republicans are now extinct.

          •  It worked for Constance Morella. (0+ / 0-)

            For decades.

            The problem is that Democrats agree to let huge swaths of the country vote Republican again and again, for lack of a reason not to. Republicans fight everywhere and it pays off for them when they sometimes win even Massachusetts Senate seats. They can afford to throw resources into blue districts because our party gives them the purple-to-red districts for free.

            We are the Nuts Who Say "NEWT!"

            by AdmiralNaismith on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:36:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  NC9 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, ArkDem14

        Based on the 2004 and 2008 results Charlotte is trending Dem faster than any other part of the state except Fayetteville, and NC has not been behaving like an R+4 state based on the polls that were taken in 2011. I think it's reasonable to assume that Meck county is still trending blue, and if so it's probably coming more from Myrick's areas than from Watt's which were already close to maxed out. The seat was R+8 based on the 08 results, but I would bet that it will be R+5 to R+7 for 2012. (The county as a whole was D+3 in 2004 but D+8 in 2008.)

        I think this seat goes red in 2012 and 2014 but flips in 2016.

        SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 02:27:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wasn't surprised she was a Republican (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Just at the kind of Republican she was. As far as I know, the handful of other Republican Representatives whose political careers came out of urban areas are more moderate (except maybe Bob Turner) in voting record or in tone.

        26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

        by Xenocrypt on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 03:28:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  She's my Congresswoman...all I can say is (4+ / 0-)


    Progressive Dixiecrat. 19, LSU student, NC resident

    by MilesC on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:31:19 PM PST

  •  Myrick must have seen the oncoming flood (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It need not be stated enough--Myrick represented almost half of a city that gave Obama 63 percent of the vote. Eventually, the GOP isn't going to be able to win this seat by running it up in the suburbs.

    The only way the Repubs in the state legislature were able to keep this district red was to add southern Iredell County to it. Of course, that was only made possible by turning NC-12 into a racial gerrymander.

    Take it from a Charlottean--within 20 years, this seat will be held by a Dem.

  •  Some Numbers (0+ / 0-)

    I realize this is kind of a weak comparison, since it's not clear how turn out might be in the new district, but perhaps it can shed some light on how we might win.

    Our candidates received 36 and 31 percent in 2008 and 2010, but I am inclined to almost disregard 2010 given the year and the district. I'll say 35 percent is the baseline, although perhaps it could be more like 40 percent with a more reasonable but still minimally funded campaign, especially since there's no incumbent.

    There were about 380,000 voters 2008. If we get roughly the same amount in 2010, that's about 171,000 for Obama, if he received to receive 45 percent of the vote. If 40 percent here for our candidate is more like the baseline, that's about 152,000 votes. Of course, I would like to think it's even higher, since anyone voting for Obama in this area shouldn't have that much difficulty voting for another Democrat.

    If Obama were to win this congressional district, I have to think our candidate has a good shot to win, unless the Republican presidential candidate is so badly beaten that the results can't be compared. Whatever the case, we'll use 55 percent as a baseline for the Republican presidential candidate and the congressional candidate. That's slightly lower since he or she isn't an incumbent, but still kind of high, reflecting the lean of the district. Out of 380,000 votes, that's about 209,000 votes--a difference, possibly, of about 38,000 between Obama and the Republican presidential candidate and between the Republican and Democratic congressional candidate.

    How might we win? It's got to be some combination of adding new voters and changing minds, with the emphasis probably on the latter. If the turnout increased by ten percent to 418,000, and we received 60 percent of the new voters, that's roughly 23,000 votes on top of the 171,000 our candidate and Obama already received. That's about 193,000, or 46.40 percent, with the Republican candidate receiving about 53.60 percent, or 224,000 votes. (I assume third-party candidates don't really matter.) If 418,000 is the total voting pool, getting to 52 percent (higher is better, of course, but 52 percent is reasonable) would give us about 218,000 votes. That's a difference of 25,000, or one out of every ten voters for the Republican congressional candidate. Changing that many minds would be hard, but it probably wouldn't be impossible.

    Of course, maybe it's easier to get new voters to the polls than I realize. I'm thinking of the Perriello-Goode contest in 2008. Turnout here seems good if not great already, which is probably the biggest issue.

  •  My buddy just posted it on FB (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's good news... especially if we can take that seat... too bad Virginia Foxx isn't retiring... I hate listening to her talk.

  •  Bill James (0+ / 0-)

    says he's considering the race. Well if that's true, we may actually have a shot here.

    VA-03 (current residence) NC-07 (home)

    by psychicpanda on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 04:47:51 PM PST

  •  I doubt Sue Myrick is retiring (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because she fears a loss in the future. Why is it surprising that someone over the age of 70 who is a breast cancer survivor wants to retire?

  •  a Prime Pickup Opportunity (0+ / 0-)

    This is Charlotte, not some racist backwater county. We can take it.

    North Carolina is becoming a blue state. They've had it with the fringe Boehner wing of the party, which doesn't represent them.

    We can turn the 9th into a Democratic stronghold, if we want it bad enough.

    We are the Nuts Who Say "NEWT!"

    by AdmiralNaismith on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:30:38 AM PST

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