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Complete coverage of Elections 2020. Reporting on major contested races in New Hanover and Brunswick Counties.

CoastLine: Election 2020 Reporter Round Table


More than a week has passed since the 2020 Election.  President-Elect Joe Biden is moving forward with his transition plans, key Republican leaders are quiet, and there are questions about whether the American public is as divided as it’s ever been.  In North Carolina, Republicans head into the next legislative session with an as-yet unofficial 70-50 majority in the House and a 29-21 majority in the Senate. 

Voter turnout in North Carolina was, like much of the nation, historic.  Almost 75% of registered voters cast a ballot.  By comparison, in 2016, 69% turned out.  

And it’s not a surprise which parts of the state leaned toward Biden and which went for Trump.  As the Charlotte Observer explains, “Mostly, Cooper scored big margins in urban and predominantly Black counties, while Trump dominated in rural and outer suburban counties.” 

While we know that North Carolina was a closely-watched state during the election, it remains an anomaly.   Why is it that North Carolinians appear to have favored Republican President Donald Trump AND Democratic Governor Roy Cooper? 

And why is it that New Hanover and Brunswick Counties, neighbors centered around the same mini-metropolis of Wilmington, behave so differently?  New Hanover County went blue near the top of the ballot – with some patchwork purple on the way down.  Brunswick County stayed reliably red – with eerily consistent margins all the way down the ballot. 

On this edition, we look at some of these results and what they tell us. 

Scott Nunn, freelance journalist based in Wilmington, former Opinion Editor of the StarNews, regular contributor to the Greater Wilmington Business Journal

Ben Schachtman, Managing Editor, WHQR 

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.