We’re a month out. The effects of Hurricane Florence are finally wearing off, the Kavanaugh fight is over, and people are beginning to pay attention to the midterm election. Once sparse yard signs are clogging intersections. The TV ads have started. It’s time to do some Cumberland County prognosticating.
It’s well known that this election will be about Trump. Most midterms are a referendum on the sitting president. I’ve argued that his influence will trickle all the way down to to local races. As it stands today, more than twice as many women disapprove of Trump than approve of him. Men on the other hand seem to be sticking by him. We’re left with a gender divide that may be the largest in modern American politics.
Women are fired up and for good reason. On cue, more women are running for office than ever before. But I think that this gender divide runs deeper than party. Women want women in power. They’re tired of the old, predominantly male class of folks running everything. As a result, I’m predicting cross-over votes by women, for women in this election. This will be a dangerous election for any incumbent male with a female challenger. Will any men be left standing? Of course, but many won’t.
Two local races that might test this theory are the Tal Baggett – Caitlin Young Evans race for District Court Judge and the Billy Richardson – Linda Devore race for NC House (44). If Evans can win over Democratic and Republican women in her race, she has a good shot to unseat a long-sitting judge. If Devore can poach Democratic women voters, she could pull an upset in a Democratic leaning district. Expect both incumbent men to hit on kitchen table issues to woo women voters. This will come in the form of ads regarding DWI’s/Public Safety/Domestic Violence for Baggett and Education/Teacher Pay/Water Quality for Richardson.
If you need some graphic proof of my theory, look at Kirk Deviere’s current Facebook logo:
It’s not hard to guess the target audience. Deviere knows the key to taking down Wesley Meredith in 2018 is women. Meredith knows this too and is undercutting Deviere by running negative ads featuring a female voice that mocks Deviere’s wardrobe.
Lady Justice will determine how the scales tip this election. I think it’s time.
Note: Billy Richardson (NC House 44) is my father. I do my best to avoid commenting on his races, but in this case it was unavoidable.