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North Carolina Democrats have survived three near-death elections: 1972, 1984 and 1994. But will 2010 be the one when the dam finally breaks and we go the way of the rest of the South?
Some smart Democrats here think so. They see a decade – or more – of Republican dominance ahead. They believe 2012 could be a repeat, not a reversal, of 2010. They fear the impact of redistricting. They openly speculate about Governor Perdue losing in 2012.
I thought about this last night at the reunion of Jim Hunt Alumni – everybody who worked with and for him from 1970 through today.
Hunt’s political career goes back 50 years – to the election of Terry Sanford and John Kennedy in 1960. Ever since, the South has trended Republican. Yet Democrats stemmed the tide again and again. Often, it was Hunt who was the bulwark, especially in 1972 and 1992.
Last night was full of energy and enthusiasm. Governor Hunt, as usual, picked everybody up from Tuesday’s disaster. Even this year, he noted, North Carolina reelected Democratic congressmen in tough races.
But I couldn’t help wondering if I was watching an era end.


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One comment on “Did the Dam Break?

  1. Carbine says:

    This election SHOULD change everything in North Carolina, but the Democrats can always hope that the Republicans follow form and do something(s) stupid and/or fratricidal. Redistricting should gut the Democrats in this state, since they’ve been ruling for years with a minority of actual votes cast. If it’s done correctly, there will be far fewer seats at the state level for up-and-coming Dems to aspire to, and a larger chunk of those will be, for all practical purposes, ‘reserved’ for African-Americans.

    But the Republicans can still blow it. If they cut too many deals in redistricting for their ‘special friends’ in the other party (don’t think it can’t happen–there are plenty of envelopes to stuff with cash in Raleigh, and plenty of men’s rooms to pass them off in), schisms will develop and party discipline with go out the door. Also, if the agenda the leadership pursues in the General Assembly is as idiotically ideological as the one doggedly pursued by the last gang o’ bosses (think juice boxes, ‘bully’ bills, etc.) they could open the door to a counter-revolt.

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