Goodwin believes Democrats will make gains in 2018 elections

Published 8:24 pm Thursday, February 22, 2018

Goodwin believes Democrats

will make gains at federal,

state levels in 2018 elections



For the Daily News



Wayne Goodwin, chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party, thought carefully before making that one-word statement to describe the party in 2018, a mid-term election year. Goodwin believes North Carolina Democrats have an opportunity to gain seats in both houses of Congress and both houses of the General Assembly come Election Day in November. Goodwin believes the NCDP has an opportunity to find support among the growing number of unaffiliated voters in the state. He believes Democrats can grow their ranks by continuing to be the party of diversity.

Goodwin, in Washington earlier this week to address a meeting of the Beaufort County Democratic Women, agreed to an interview after that meeting. He was accompanied by Chris Hardee, chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party 3rd Congressional District, and Robert Howard, NCDP communications director. Goodwin served eight years as the state’s insurance commissioner.

In order to gain seats in Congress and the General Assembly, Democrats have to recruit “the strongest and best candidates possible,” Goodwin said, adding that this year’s mid-term elections could result in Democratic gains at the federal and state levels. For that to happen, Democrats need to work hard, he said.

“People are anxious. They’re mad. They’re energized. Democrats in particular are the most anxious, the most angry, the most motivated to go to the polls. … It’s a mid-term year. We are reminded that the party out of power tends to win more seats and do better in off-year elections,” Goodwin said. “We can’t just rely on history. That’s why we are doubling down with recruiting, fundraising, organizing, rallying, getting out the vote later this year because we have to make history. We just can’t rely on the usual mid-term election cycle.”

Goodwin said he’s confident Democrats will make those gains, especially at the state legislative level, “but there’s a lot of work to do between now and November.”

Goodwin believes the main difference between the North Carolina Democrats today and five years ago comes down to attention to detail. “We are better organized. We are better led at the local, districts and state levels. We have outpaced and surpassed our fundraising goals. We have energized to recruit, rally and register voters and win,” he said.

Goodwin believes the Democratic Party must make itself appealing to unaffiliated voters seeking candidates they can support.

“There are a lot of people who are involved in non-party political activity than ever before. That’s an interesting dynamic, given that our system relies upon the political parties,” Goodwin said.

“Statewide, unaffiliated voters have surpassed Republicans. … A significant number of people who have registered as unaffiliated have done so because they are disaffected and turned off by today’s lack of civil discourse. The Republican Party, in particular, has become a very loud, angry party. Both parties have contributed to the rise of unaffiliated voters, and there are other reasons, too,” Goodwin said. “What the Democratic Party will continue to do is focus on issues that help all North Carolinians, not just Democrats. We want one North Carolina. We want every corner of the state rural North Carolina, urban North Carolina, to have equal opportunity, justice and fairness.”

Unaffiliated voters have become the deciding factor in many races in North Carolina, he said. “Given that fact, one has to meet with them, hear them, work with them to the extent possible and find solutions that appeal to a broader group,” Goodwin said.

This is the first of two articles about Goodwin’s take on North Carolina politics. The second article will appear in the weekend edition of the Daily News.




About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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