8 Reasons to be Optimistic About NC Elections in 2018

As we gear up for the 2018 elections, there are many reasons to be hopeful that we can finally break the Republican super-majority in the NC General Assembly – and possibly even take back the NC House altogether. Here's why FLIP NC is fired up for 2018.

1. Democrats are Crushing the National Congressional Ballot

Democrats currently hold an enormous 11-point advantage on the national generic congressional ballot. This significant a lead – even a year out from the election – is strongly predictive of a huge national wave for Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections.

2. Trump’s Approval Rating in NC

Voters in North Carolina are as unhappy with Donald Trump as the rest of the country. In fact, Trump’s net approval rating in North Carolina is worse than average (about -20% compared with about -17% nationwide).

3. 2017 Virginia State Elections

Following massive voter turnout efforts, Democrats in Virginia picked up at least 15 seats in the House of Delegates, including 5 in districts where they didn’t even field a candidate in 2015. In the other 10 districts, the average result flipped from a 15-point Republican win in 2015 to a 10-point Democratic victory in 2017 – a 25-point swing!

4. New Legislative Maps

With the release last week of the Special Master’s draft maps, we are close to having final legislative maps for 2018 that are no longer racially gerrymandered. The new maps give us a great chance to pick up the four seats we need to break the GOP supermajority in the NC House. Two newly-drawn districts should be easy pick-ups for Democrats (NC-H8 and NC-H61), and Gov. Cooper won 4 others in Wake and Mecklenburg Counties (NC-H35, 36, 104, and 105) that are prime targets.

5. An 8-Point Swing to Win the NC House

Many other GOP-held seats in the NC House were won by small margins. It would take only an 8-point swing statewide (relative to Gov. Cooper’s performance in 2016) to win enough seats to take back the NC House altogether – a goal within reach in 2018 with a big enough Democratic wave.

6. Blue-Moon Election

We won’t have a Presidential or US Senate race in 2018 to bring people to the polls in NC. These blue-moon elections happen every 12 years, and voter turnout has historically been incredibly low (only 37% in 2006 compared with 67% in 2016). This low base turnout means we can have a huge impact on the election just by getting Democrats to the polls.

7. Our Coalition

The progressive focus on NC legislative elections has never been greater. We are part of a growing coalition of progressive groups working on every part of the effort needed for a Democratic wave in 2018, from fundraising to identifying strong candidates to strategic analysis to voter outreach. Shout out to America Votes, Aim Higher Now, Indivisibles NC, Protect Our Vote NC, Everyone’s NC, Neighbors on Call, Now or Never NC, Our Shot NC and Stronger NC. Click through to find out more about the great work each group is doing!

8. Grassroots Groups Rising


A major part of FLIP NC’s mission is supporting grassroots groups across the state that are eager to work on elections in their local areas. From Asheville to Charlotte to Greensboro to the Outer Banks, we’re already hearing from many grassroots groups ready to start working on 2018 elections.

If your group would like to work on elections in 2018, let’s connect! You can reach us via email, Facebook or Twitter. We can provide any support you need to start, build and sustain your efforts (help to identify the best places to work; training, materials, walk sheets and call lists; help to lead your first canvass; and ongoing support).


2018 is almost here, and we can feel the progressive momentum building. We must take back the NC House to restore fair legislative and congressional maps for the next decade. By coordinating our efforts and harnessing the incredible grassroots energy across the state, we can win in 2018. Join the coalition, and let’s get to work!