----------PAST KEY RACES----------
2012: President | Governor | NC-7 | NC-8 | NC-11
2010: Senate | NC-2 | NC-4 | NC-7 | NC-8 | NC-11 | NC-13
2008: President | Senate | Governor | NC-8
2004: President | Senate | Governor | NC-11
|Poll||Date||Sample||MoE||Aiken (D)||Ellmers (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||--||41.1||58.9||Ellmers +17.8|
|SurveyUSA/Civitas (R)||9/26 - 9/28||400 RV||5.0||39||47||Ellmers +8|
Bob Etheridge won the 2nd District in 1996 after the GOP incumbent, David Funderburk, imploded under a DUI scandal. Etheridge thrived in the district by compiling a centrist voting record, but after voting a national Democratic line in 2009 and 2010, he found himself dragged under by the GOP wave the latter year. The winner was Renee Ellmers, a medical assistant and first-time candidate.
Redistricting changed the district considerably. Whereas it had historically been anchored in eastern North Carolina and took in heavily Democratic precincts in Raleigh, Republican redistricters moved the district out of the city almost entirely, and swung the district into the more Republican North Carolina Piedmont. The district now, for example, takes in Randolph County, which gave Mitt Romney 75 percent of the vote in 2012, and which hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1940.
Ellmers looks fairly safe in this seat, but her Democratic opponent, former “American Idol” star and North Carolina native Clay Aiken, could threaten to make things interesting. While it seems unlikely that a conservative Southern district would elect an openly gay, relatively liberal Democrat like Aiken, he will have the funds to get out the Democratic base in the district.