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Almost (im)possible: Biden, Democrats place risky bets on Florida and North Carolina against Trump

Florida and North Carolina have been Republican bastions for a long time, but that doesn’t prevent President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, and the Democrats from trying to flip the states in their favor in November. Republicans have been literally dominating Florida since Ron DeSantis became governor, and the gap between Republicans and Democrats has since widened. On the other hand, North Carolina is one of seven key battleground states that is expected to be decisive in the general election, and both candidates will do their best to win the support of the majority of voters.

Biden, Democrats effort to win North Carolina

This week, President Biden traveled to Wilmington, North Carolina, and also stopped in Charlotte to meet with families of police officers who died while on duty. This visit follows Vice President Kamala Harris’s trip to Charlotte last month. This year, both Biden and Harris have frequently visited North Carolina and plan to continue their tours and political gatherings there in the upcoming months.

Flipping Florida

On Wednesday, Vice President Harris was in Jacksonville, Florida, coinciding with the day the state enacted a six-week abortion restriction. Harris has often addressed abortion rights, a topic that she handles differently than President Biden, who is an 81-year-old Catholic. In Florida, she sharply criticized the state’s Republican legislators who supported the abortion ban, accusing them of either ignorance or indifference toward women’s health issues.

Key swing states

Looking ahead, President Biden and former President Donald Trump, both likely candidates for the upcoming presidential election, are focusing on seven key swing states. These states are crucial for winning the presidency. Currently, Trump is leading in six of these states, even those Biden had previously won, such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada. So why the Biden campaign and Democrats are focused on North Carolina and Florida?

President Biden and VP Harris make more frequent stops in Florida and North Carolina in effort to flip the states from GOP to Democratic
VP Kamala Harris, X official account

Read also: North Carolina Republican Senator trashing Georgia Rep. Greene: “She is dragging our brand (GOP) down.”

Mission (im)possible

Over the last ten years, Florida has become a stronghold for the Republican Party. Governor Ron DeSantis won his re-election in 2022 by nearly 20 points, marking a significant shift from the days when Barack Obama and Biden secured victories there, and Democrats like Bill Nelson and Bob Graham served as Senators.

North Carolina has been even tougher for Democrats than Florida. Barack Obama’s win there in 2008 was historic, as he was the first Democrat to claim the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976. Since then, the state has shifted significantly to the right, with Republican wins by Mitt Romney in 2012 and Donald Trump in both his elections. Furthermore, Democrats haven’t won any of the four Senate races in North Carolina since 2008.

However, the Democrats believe that the repercussions from the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which reversed abortion rights, might bring both states into contention again. Florida presents a more formidable challenge; Trump narrowly won it in 2016. The state has seen an increase in retirees drawn by the warm climate and absence of income tax, alongside migrants from countries with socialist regimes like Venezuela. These factors, combined with a rightward shift among the existing Hispanic population, have transformed Florida into a testing ground for conservative policies

President Biden and VP Harris make more frequent stops in Florida and North Carolina in effort to flip the states from GOP to Democratic
Courtesy of President Joe Biden, official X account

Read also: Biden receives awful truth: Arizona, Pennsylvania and Michigan voters will support Trump no matter what

Democrats bet on abortion rights in Florida

Nikki Fried, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, expressed optimism about overturning the state’s strict abortion restrictions. She highlighted a potential ballot initiative aimed at securing abortion rights in Florida’s constitution as a key strategy. Fried plans to campaign on what she calls the “three As: affordability, accountability, and abortion.”

The North Carolina story

In North Carolina, Democrats feel more optimistic about their chances. The state has attracted many college-educated young professionals, particularly to areas like the Charlotte metropolitan region and the Research Triangle, which encompasses Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill along with several top universities. This demographic tends to lean Democratic.

Like in Florida, Democrats in North Carolina are hopeful that the issue of abortion rights will help shift the state’s political alignment from red to blue. Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat who has won elections coinciding with Trump’s campaigns, expressed concerns about Republicans possibly extending beyond the state’s current 12-week abortion limit.

Read also: Bill Barr and the harsh American reality: “I am very disappointed that this country is stuck with this choice”

Looking ahead

Republicans might believe that Biden and Harris pose no real threat in North Carolina and Florida, yet the visible Democratic confidence suggests that Republicans might end up allocating substantial campaign resources defensively in these states, whether they prefer to or not.

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