U.S. Senate and State Supreme Court Races

Ok folks.  I have written about 75 articles and columns about the 2022 election. Here is my last before the results come in.

Below are the long-awaited 2022 Woodshed election predictions.  (Click here for what I will be watching on election night)

U.S. Senate:

Republican Ted Budd will defeat Democrat Cheri Beasley by a comfortable but not an overwhelming margin. Budd will out preform Trumps N.C. margin of victory in 2020 (+1.3%) and 2016 (+3.66%). Budd will not pass Sen. Richard Burr’s 2016 victory margin of (+5.69%).

Budd: 50.07%

Beasley: 46.1%

Other: 3.2%

Budd margin of victory 3.97%.

Budd will join a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. Republicans will hold all of the seats they currently have including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. Republicans will gain four seats with pick-ups in Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire and Arizona.

Final U.S. Senate score GOP 54 and Democrats will finish with 46.

U.S. House

Republicans will easily capture the U.S. House of Representatives with 242 seats, a net pick-up of 30 seats. Republicans will control a full 12 additional House seats than they did after the 1994 red tsunami.

Republican Bo Hines will capture the NC-13 seat in Wake/Johnston, the state’s lone swing seat.

Sandy Smith will defeat Democrat Don Davis in NC-1, which covers more than a dozen northeast counties in a seat drawn by the partisan Democrat State Supreme Court to elect a Democrat. In one of the most shocking surprises in America, Democrat Kathy Manning of Greensboro will be defeated by Christian Castelli in a district that represents all of Guilford and Rockingham counties, most of Caswell County, and part of Forsyth County. This loss will hurt because Democrats in the legislature and in the state Supreme Court moved heaven and earth to save her through redistricting lawsuits and a congressional map redraw by the courts.

Final Score:     Republicans 242

                           Democrats 193

NC Delegation: 10 GOP and Democrats 4.

North Carolina State Supreme Court

The backlash to the left’s defund the police rhetoric plus the recent hyper-partisanship of the Democrat controlled state Supreme Court, results in voters returning control of states highest court to the GOP.

Republicans will pick up both Supreme Court seats this year giving the GOP a 5-2 majority on the court. The two GOP candidates, Trey Allen and Justice Rick Dietz will outperform Budd vote by 2 points. Democrat incumbent Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Ervin will perform worse than Democrat Lucy Inman, who has run a very strong and smart campaign. However, she still loses.

General Assembly

The John Locke Foundation has identified the key legislative races based on the partisan leanings in each district. Our researchers selected 19 State House races and 9 Senate races. All these are important to watch on election night. The GOP Senate currently sits at 28 members and needs to add two seats to obtain a veto proof supermajority. The path in the state Senate is easier than in the state House, which sits at 69 members and needs to pick up three seats to hit the magic supermajority number of 72.

Democrats are playing defense with no practical chance to take majorities in either chamber.  They are simply trying to block GOP supermajorities.

State Senate

To me there are two critical state Senate races for the GOP.

Senate 7 in New Hanover pits incumbent GOP State Sen. Michael Lee v. Democrat challenger Marica Morgan. In 2020, New Hanover County flipped Democratic after voting Republican in the previous five presidential elections. In total, 66,138 people in New Hanover voted for Biden, while 63,331 voted for Trump.

In New Hanover County, 50.2% of the people voted Democrat in the 2020 presidential election, 48.0% voted for the Republican Party, and the remaining 1.8% voted for another candidate.

However Michael Lee is well known, and in a Republican year, Lee holds on.

Senate 3 includes 10 counties in northeast North Carolina. It leans Democrat but GOP Sen. Bobby Hanig is running a great race and it is close. Woodshed predicts Hanig wins.

Those two victories will earn Republican Senate leader Phil Berger, Sr. a 30-20 GOP Senate Supermajority.

Woodshed also predicts that the GOP will pick up two additional state Senate seats out of four possibilities in Wake, Mecklenburg, and Cumberland.

Final N.C. Senate score:

GOP  32

Democrats  18

N.C. House

GOP incumbent Rep. Larry Yarborough will be the only current GOP member to lose his re-election as he was forced into a heavily Democrat district. The district is so blue, that even a red wave can’t save Yarborough. I credit him for still running and giving voters in District 2 a choice.

Republican Jarrod Lowery will win a Democrat held seat in Robeson County. Republican Ken Fontenot will win a Democrat held seat in Wilson and a smidge of Nash seat. Stephen Ross will reclaim a seat he previously held in the Democratic leaning part of Alamance. 

District 5, Democrat incumbent Rep. Howard Hunter III, D-Hertford, will be defeated by. Republican Bill Ward.

Greenville’s Democrat Rep. Brian Farkas, will also lose along with incumbent Rep. James Gailliard, D-Nash. However Republicans have to win a couple seats they currently don’t hold in Wake and Mecklenburg. The red wave and the strong GOP performance with white women in suburban areas will help the GOP have a great night in in the state House. Strong and diverse candidate recruitment by the GOP is also a plus for team red.

Final Score

GOP 73

Democrats 47

Sheriffs’ races and other

Wake county will once again have a Republican sheriff as former Wake Sheriff Donnie Harrison wins along with a couple other GOP Sheriff candidates defeating Democratic incumbents.

Also, look for Republicans to make considerable gains in county commission seats and other local races.