Josh Stein Leads Against Mark Robinson In Closely Watched Governor’s Race

Source: Flickr/Anthony Crider / Hannah Schoenbaum

The coming election this fall is already one of the most closely watched Presidential races in history. For the first time in history, America is seeing a showdown of the same two candidates who faced off in the last election, a fact that many are not thrilled about. The presidential race is not the only one that people are keeping an eye on, though. 

An Intensely Political Race

Saying that this race is not about politics would be disingenuous. Every American race is deeply entrenched in our highly divided political system, with Republicans and Democrats going out of their way to rally their party and convince them that this is the election that they absolutely need to show up for. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Some years, this tactic has been highly successful. In 2020, for instance, the pandemic and heightened rhetoric allowed the Democrats to convince their party that another four years of Donald Trump would turn America irrevocably for the worse, and Democrats showed up in droves.

The Big Lie

Of course, Trump supporters didn’t believe then that the election had gone to Joe Biden, and they still don’t now. Many people blame the January 6 attack on the Capitol on Donald Trump and his divisive rhetoric, and he is currently under indictment for his role in that day in two different jurisdictions.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Trump was the first former president to be impeached and charged in the Senate, and though he was ultimately acquitted in the Senate chamber, this is not something that many Americans have forgotten. Anti-Trump rhetoric has swelled and retreated at various points in the last four years, and it appears to be on an upswing yet again. 

Trump is a Losing Bet

And, unfortunately for Trump, in a lot of ways it’s starting to see like his name itself is a losing bet. Predictions of the “red wave” – the changing of hands in the House of Representatives and Senate to Republican leadership – in 2022 simply did not pan out. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Democrats actually gained a seat in the house, and Republican wins in the House left them with the slimmest of majorities that has slowly whittled away with their infighting. And many far-right Republicans have looked at their tiny gains and wondered exactly why their party is currently not more successful.

Attempting to Retain Relevancy

The answer comes down to Donald Trump, and the way that he speaks as both a person and a politician. Trump was one of the least popular presidents in American history, and has been rated by independent analysts as one of the least successful as well. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

In the years since he left office, Trump has attempted to retain his relevancy by pushing harder on the very things that got him into office in the first place. Divisive and intense rhetoric surrounding the border, the political divide between Republicans and Democrats, religion, abortion, and more have all come from Trump’s mouth, in an attempt to upset people enough that they continue to talk about him. 

Staying in the Public Eye

As far as keeping himself in the public eye, Trump has certainly succeeded. His legal troubles have compounded his efforts, though perhaps not in a way that he might have wanted when he left the White House. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

As far as remaining politically popular, that’s where Trump has failed. Trump has continued to speak with fellow Republicans and endorse candidates across the country, and time and time again, Trump’s endorsement has proven a losing formula for many of these candidates.

Trump Losing Republicans Races

Moderate Republicans have pointed to Donald Trump as the reason that they lost the 2022 midterms. Trump candidates lost up and down the ballot across the country, including, very importantly, in key races like those for Secretary of State. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

This is important because Republicans have made clear through their actions that their goal ahead of the 2024 election is to make voting unbelievably difficult, so as to reduce the competition. Failing that, many Republican states have attempted to pass laws that would make it easier for a secretary of state to overturn an election if it doesn’t swing in their favor. 

Efforts to Change Voting Laws

These efforts to change voting laws comes at a time when Republican policies are failing to sway voters across the country. Importantly, abortion rights have proven a failing issue for Republicans, and women across the country are inflamed to vote in numbers that haven’t been seen in recent years, if patterns seen in local and state races hold up to a federal scale.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Repuban’s clear desire to suppress voting as well as voter motivation across the country means that some races this fall are going to be very tight. This is especially important in swing states, where a couple thousand votes could be enough to determine a state election, and possibly even the presidency.

Smaller Races are just as Important

These tight races go for local races too, not just the presidential race. And in these smaller races for state and local governments, the impact of a few votes is even greater. State legislatures are where impactful laws are truly being passed, and it is these races that are often overlooked in favor of flashier events like the presidential race. 

Source: Wikimedia/jalexartis Photography

People don’t seem to be ignoring these races this year, though. Swing state voters are fired up,  and political analysts are watching several races very closely. Among them is the North Carolina gubernatorial race between Democrat Josh Stein and Republican Mark Robinson.

Governors are Important Public Officials

Governor races are particularly important, because governors are the ones that sign state laws into being, or veto their existence. Governors can be the barrier between the implementation of abortion bans, of anti-queer laws, they can advocate for higher minimum wages in their state, the list goes on and on. 

Source: X/markrobinsonNC

And the North Carolina race is one of the most closely watched governor’s races this year. Of the 11 gubernatorial races this year, North Carolina and New Hampshire are the only races that are considered a toss-up by political forecasters. All the other races are in safe red or blue states, meaning there’s much less likelihood of a political power grab. 

About the Candidates

Stein is the state’s attorney general, and is currently leading in the race at 52% among registered voters. Robinson is the lieutenant governor, and is trailing behind Stein with only 44% among registered voters.

Source: X/joshstein_

The eight-point lead that Stein has over Robinson is significantly better than the two-point lead that was previously forecasted, and it’s significantly better in a state where Donald Trump beat Joe Biden by 1 ½% in 2020.

Robinson Endorsed by Trump

Trump has endorsed Robinson in his bid for governor, and since the Super Tuesday primary, both Democrats and Republicans have gone out of their way to sell to their voters what they want this particular election season to be about.

Source: X/joshstein_

Robinson has been relentless, bringing up crime, immigration, and Biden’s approval rating, which is currently a net negative 22% in the state. Democrats have focused on Robinson himself, for a heap of inflammatory comments that he has made about various women and about gun regulations. 

Aiming for North Carolina

Even some Republicans have recognized that Robinson’s crude way of speaking may alienate him from some voters. Among independents, for instance, Stein leads Robinson by 9% in a head-to-head match, according to polling data.

Source: X/joshstein_

Democrats are hopeful that this will put them ahead of Republicans in the state for the first time since Obama won in 2008. In the elections since then, Democrats have lost the state by less than four points, and there are many officials who are eager to bring North Carolina back into the liberal fold.

Important Issues on the November Ballot

The issues of abortion, the economy, democracy, and education are all important pieces on the ballot this fall. These are all issues that Democrats have been selling firmly, and if the polling data holds true, it seems that they might be the winning message for the liberal party.

Source: Wikimedia/Michael Stokes

The race will continue to ramp up in the coming months approaching November, with the polling data and opinions changing as time goes along. Democrats will need to capitalize on their current momentum in the state if they hope to keep their lead, and with the energy surrounding this election, it’s unlikely either party will let the state go without a fight. 

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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