Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The Literacy Test in NC: Lessons from 1970

By Christopher Cooper

Last week Representatives Alexander (D), Saine (R), Brown (D), and Stevens (R) introduced a bipartisan bill in the North Carolina House to remove the literacy test from the NC State Constitution. This bill is just the latest attempt to send this racist vestige of the Jim Crow South packing; we've been down this road before.

I wrote about the literacy test in 2021 and 2022, but now that there is a new bill--and one that seems to be more likely to pass--I thought it would be a good time to reassess the issue but hopefully without tilling the same soil. Below, I briefly review the origins of the literacy test (spoiler alert: it's racist), briefly analyze the last statewide vote on the issue in 1970 and discuss what all of this means for the likelihood of repeal this year. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

With Stein Officially In for NC Governor, Can He Replicate Cooper's Success?

By Michael Bitzer

With the official announcement by North Carolina's Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein of seeking the state's chief executive office, comparisons are being made to the current incumbent's performance and how Stein can replicate those two successful runs for governor.

In 2016 and 2020, Democrat Roy Cooper was able to unseat an incumbent governor (49 percent against Republican Pat McCrory's 48 percent) and successful defend (with some breathing room at 51.5 percent) his re-election against Republican Lt. Governor Dan Forest. In those same elections, Stein was able to secure the AG's office, but in 2020, he did so with the barest of margins of victory of any Council of State executive officer winning (50.13 percent). In 2016, Stein won his first bid with 50.3 percent of the vote

As Miles Coleman has noted, North Carolina's gubernatorial election will be one of the few in the nation in the presidential election, and will be the "marquee" contest. Sabato's Crystal Ball has already classified the contest as a 'toss-up.'