The only toss-up race for congress in the state, and one of the few in the whole region, can be found in North Carolina’s Congressional District-1. Incumbent Democrat Congressman Don Davis faces political newcomer and veteran, Republican Laurie Buckhout, in what is shaping up to be a well-funded battle to the fall finish line.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) announced Thursday its first wave of ad reservations for the 2024 election cycle stands at $45.7 million. Of that total figure, millions are being spent in NC-01, including $1,350,000 in the Raleigh DMA and $1,054,000 in the Greenville DMA. 

The Chairman of the NRCC Richard Hudson should be familiar to North Carolinians, too, representing the 9th Congressional District of the state in the US House, serving in progressively more influential roles. Last March, the NRCC listed NC-01 as one of its top targets.

“The NRCC committed from Day One to not just hold our majority, but go on offense to grow our majority – today we are putting our money where our mouth is,” said NRCC Chairman Richard Hudson in a press release. “This initial investment gives our candidates firepower to remind voters of the Biden border, crime, and inflation crises wreaking havoc on their daily lives. Extreme Democrats who enabled the chaos and malaise should polish up their resumes – they will be unemployed soon.”‘

Illegal immigration and border security have been named top issues by voters in North Carolina.

The district, made more competitive in recent redistricting, could be a bellwether for softening support for top-of-the-ticket Democrats, such as President Joe Biden. North Carolina Republicans are expected to net at least three seats in Congress across the state’s delegation (currently split 7R-7D), NC-1 represents a potential fourth pick up for the GOP.

A recent Carolina Journal Poll showed Republicans with a growing generic ballot advantage when it comes to General Assembly races. As such, Buckhout may have wind at her back in a toss up fall election.

In recent electoral history, NC-1 has been a relatively safe district for Democrats. However, after post-census redistricting, the general election race has become more competitive.

The Cook Political Report 2024 House Race Ratings rate NC-1 a “Toss-Up,” as do other election ratings outfits. It is one of the poorest of North Carolina’s congressional districts, with a median household income about 80% of the statewide average and a poverty rate about 30% higher than the statewide average.

The district is racially diverse, with a population that is 47% white, 40% black, and 7% Hispanic. Should Republican candidate for president Donald Trump earn higher rates of the black vote, as polling has suggested, it could have an outsize impact on the results in NC-01.