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 March 13, 2024

Biden's reelection campaign will use Obama strategy as it eyes flipping North Carolina

President Joe Biden is eyeing North Carolina as his chances of winning in Georgia threaten his reelection bid, the Denver Gazette reported. This mirrors the strategy former President Barack Obama used to secure his 2008 victory. 

Biden, who served as Obama's vice president, will borrow a page from his former running mate's playbook and attempt to turn the GOP stronghold of North Carolina into a Democratic win. Biden did not win the state against former President Donald Trump in 2020, but it was within 1 percentage point.

Obama was the first Democrat to flip the state since it went for former President Jimmy Carter in the 1976 election. However, Democrats have been increasingly winning elections in the Tar Heel State while Biden's chances in Georgia continue to wane.

Of the last eight gubernatorial elections, seven have gone to the Democratic candidate in North Carolina. Even the U.S. Senate seats, which went to Republicans in 2020 and 2022, were within less than 4 percentage points of the Democratic candidates.

Playing the Odds in North Carolina

Given the choice between the two Southern states, Democrats feel that a push in North Carolina is time well spent. "I would certainly advocate for North Carolina over Georgia right now with the Biden campaign," North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said.

"Obviously, I’m a little biased. They’re going to have to make those decisions," he added.

"I think Georgia is still an extremely important state to the president and can help put him over the top," Cooper said. Another reason for Democrats' optimism involves the GOP's pick for governor of North Carolina.

Current GOP Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, the Republican nominee for the governor's race, has faced criticism over comments he made about homosexuals and Jews. Democrats are hoping to use the scandal to pick him off with hopes that Biden can ride his coattails.

The demographics of the state are trending in Biden's favor as well, with Charlotte and Raleigh both earning spots in the top 10 urban areas experiencing growth. Urban voters tend to vote for Democrats, and many of the transplants in North Carolina are from Democratic states like California and North Carolina.

Georgia on Their Minds

Georgia is considerably more challenging for Democrats as Obama and Biden each eked out a victory, and Biden won't have the help of a senate race this time to bolster his chances in Georgia. Still, Biden will visit Atlanta on Saturday, and the people there believe it's imperative that he doesn't overlook the Peach State.

"The fact is, Georgia is still in play, and of course, we want to maintain Georgia," Savannah Mayor Van Johnson said. "But that doesn’t happen by osmosis," he added.

"It happens by intentional investment. North Carolina is important. There is a governor’s race there — that’s important. But you can’t cut off your right hand and help your left hand. You need both," Johnson said.

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), whose inclusion on the ticket may have helped Biden win Georgia in 2020, is equally convinced that the state is vital to Biden's 2024 victory. "The president is in the right place. Because we know that the road to the White House goes through Georgia," Warnock said.

Biden will have to earn the trust of voters in every state, and that's increasingly difficult as his administration is mired in failure. The president will have to strategically spread his time and efforts, but it still may not be enough to beat Trump this time.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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