Will North Carolina's voice be louder in 2020 than in the past?

By  | 

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- North Carolina isn’t the biggest prize on Super Tuesday. But it may determine the fate of the candidate running in second.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event at Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

This year’s, primary comes earlier in the election cycle than any other in North Carolina history. But on Capitol Hill, long-time Congressman G.K Butterfield isn’t content waiting behind any state.

"I wish North Carolina was first," Rep. Butterfield said. "Iowa and New Hampshire are not reflective of the country."

Historically, North Carolina primaries don’t take place until May. But state lawmakers scheduled theirs as early as they could to make sure the race doesn’t end before voters get their say.

Butterfield’s made it clear who has his vote.

"I predict Joe Biden will do quite well in the Super Tuesday states," He said.

Biden currently trails Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the delegate count – the party’s formula for picking a nominee. North Carolina’s chunk of the equation accounts for more than the first three states combined.

Recent polls from Marist and East Carolina University put the pair of politicians in a dead heat for the top spot in North Carolina.

"People at the national level are not paying too much attention to North Carolina now," said Mark Rom, a political science professor with Georgetown University.

Rom says that’s because the state’s primary influence is dwarfed by California and Texas – both of which also vote on Tuesday. But, he says North Carolina will be critically important for at least one candidate.

"If Vice President Biden is going to win the nomination, he has to perform brilliantly in states like North Carolina," Rom said.

Polls open tomorrow morning, but a good chunk of the vote’s already in.
That’s because 800,000 North Carolinians voted early.

Copyright 2020 Gray DC. All rights reserved.