May 13 2021
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Biden's win would give Democrats 4 years of power. State legislatures could give them 10

Published on October 31, 2020 1:30 PM
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DeAndrea Salvador said she feels immense political pressure from her state Senate race as she tries to reach new voters in her hometown of Charlotte, even though more than half of North Carolina has already cast its ballots.

Salvador, the founder of an energy nonprofit and a fifth-generation resident of her Southern city, is running in a district that is one of five in the state vital to Democrats? hopes of flipping the North Carolina Legislature blue. If they win, Democrats would take control for the first time since Republicans dominated local races in 2010?s conservative wave.

While the presidential race swallows up all the oxygen, down-ballot races could define North Carolina politics ? and those in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and even Texas ? for the next decade. That?s because the winner will have the power to redraw state electoral maps now that the 2020 census is done. Who draws those maps and how they?re drawn in 2021 could have a lasting impact on North Carolina and its 13 congressional districts, for instance.

North Carolina Republicans had that power in 2010, dividing electoral districts to heavily favor GOP majorities and cementing the party?s dominance in the state over the past decade.

Now, with a potential blue wave forming, Democrats hope to do the same in North Carolina and in state capitals across the country. They just have to win at the local level on Tuesday first.

?This is an especially important election in terms of redistricting,? Salvador said. ?We have a once-in-a-decade opportunity for us to ...