North Carolina's Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper won his reelection bid against Republican challenger Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.
Cooper, a former state attorney general, focused his campaign on how he would continue to handle the coronavirus pandemic, his fight for Medicaid expansion, and salary increases for public school teachers and state workers.
Cooper significantly out-raised Forest, with more than $19 million in the bank as of July of this year. Forest had raised $6.9 million in total by that point.
President Trump backed Forest in July after attacking Cooper's state orders for public event capacity limits that prevented Trump from hosting the Republican National Convention in Charlotte with big crowds.
Back in 2016, President Trump won North Carolina by a margin of fewer than 200,000 votes. Trump received 50% of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 46% in the state.
At the same time, in 2016, the Tar Heel State voted to elect Cooper, a Democrat. He beat Republican incumbent Pat McCrory, becoming the first challenger since 1850 to defeat a sitting North Carolina governor. He won the 2016 governor’s race by a razor-thin margin, a mere 0.2 percentage points, or roughly 10,000 votes.
North Carolina is one of eight states that both voted for Trump in 2016 and has a Democratic governor.
North Carolina is also one of 14 states with a divided government. Democrats hold the governorship, and Republicans control both the state House of Representatives and the state Senate. In the 2020 elections, Democrats need to flip 10% of state Senate seats and 5% of state House seats to take control of each chamber.
North Carolina is one of 11 states holding an election for governor in 2020. Currently, seven of the 26 states with a Republican governor will hold a gubernatorial election, while four of the 24 states with a Democratic governor will hold a gubernatorial election.
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