Asheville Reporter

Asheville Reporter

Monday, April 6, 2020

North Carolina elections show Western counties vote more liberal


By Rich Peters | Mar 25, 2020

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Western North Carolina counties voted for Sanders | Alexander Webb

Former Vice President Joe Biden ran away with the North Carolina Democratic presidential primary by earning over 43% of the vote on March 3. That night saw last-minute withdrawals by South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

Biden won 96 of the state’s 100 counties, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) winning just four counties: Madison, Mitchell, Watauga (home to Appalachian State University), and Buncombe County. All of the counties Sanders won are located in the Western portion of the state, and further cement Asheville‘s reputation as the state’s most liberal, progressive city.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg withdrew early following the March 3 primary after officially entering the race late. After the Super Tuesday elections, Bloomberg received just 13% of the state’s vote, narrowly ahead of the 10.5% won by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

As for the GOP race, President Donald Trump won all 100 counties at a 93.5% clip against former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld. 

“While some may see Trump’s 93.5% total as a small measure of dissatisfaction among Republicans, it’s important to note that the last time an incumbent president ran for reelection in North Carolina — Barack Obama in 2012 — he earned just 79 percent of the primary vote, with the “no preference” option pulling a hefty 21%,” wrote Smoky Mountain News.

“There’s a similar phenomenon at play in the Republican Primary Election for U.S. Senate; while incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis did win all 100 counties, he did it with only 78.1% of the vote, but the last time a sitting U.S. Senator from North Carolina faced a Primary Election — Richard Burr in 2016 — he earned just 61.4% of the vote.”

In the North Carolina governor’s race, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) won all 100 counties. His November opponent, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, managed to do the same. Cooper counted 87.2% of the vote, with Forest doing slightly better with 88.9% of the vote.

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