With the results of Tuesday’s election, Democrats broke a supermajority held by Republicans in the state House.
Democrats snagged more than the forty-nine seats they needed to break Republican’s three-fifths majority, but not enough to gain an outright majority in that chamber.
Early Wednesday morning, it was unclear if Democrats would do the same in the Senate. Democrats had the lead in twenty-one Senate races—the number they needed to break that chamber’s supermajority, but two were within a one-percentage-point margin, which could trigger a recount, some precincts had yet to report, and all results are considered unofficial until canvassed.
Over 3.7 million North Carolinians—52 percent of registered voters in the state—cast ballots in the midterm election.
Holding the supermajority means that Republicans can override vetoes by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper.
[UPDATED] CAVEAT: If all results hold as they are now, this is what the NC House & NC Senate looks like (but recounts & a few outstanding precincts remain). GOP Supermajorities fall in both #NCGA chambers. 66-54 NC House GOP majority; 29-21 GOP NC Senate majority. #NCGA #NCPOL pic.twitter.com/l8C5DOEYGZ
— Jonathan Kappler (@jonathankappler) November 7, 2018
Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said in a statement that breaking the supermajority and electing a legislature that will work with Cooper was the “one goal” North Carolina Democrats had set their eyes on.
“North Carolina sent a loud message tonight to Republicans in the General Assembly that they are tired of backroom, secretive deal-making that has put special interests ahead of what’s best for regular people,” he said. “Lawmakers should listen to the will of the people when they return to Raleigh through productive, bipartisan governing, not one more final, last-gasp power grab.
Senator Mike Woodard, who represents Durham, said voters took “step one” in breaking the Republican stranglehold on the state two years ago by electing Cooper.
“With the supermajority broken in both chambers, we’re going to start having a lot more influence on things like affordable and accessible health care, a clean environment, better protection for workers, and better education for our kids,” he said. (Democrats, including Woodard, unsurprisingly retained all House and Senate seats representing Durham).
In a tweet, North Carolina GOP chairman Dallas Woodhouse called the results “not bad at all.”
— Dallas Woodhouse (@DallasWoodhouse) November 7, 2018