----------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
This district in southeastern North Carolina and the conservative wing of the state's Democratic Party have had a lengthy marriage, dating back over a century. This is the last area of the state that can still claim to have never been represented by a Republican in Congress in modern times; the last time a Republican represented this portion of North Carolina was in 1868, when the state was still under military rule.
The district is anchored in Wilmington, which has a long, sad history of race relations. It was the site of one of the largest race riots in American history. The Republican governor was nearly lynched during the 1898 conflagration, Wilmington's prosperous black middle class was wiped out, and the city's steady growth was stopped as a result.
Most observers expect that Mike McIntyre will be the last of the 7th's conservative Democrats. His district was already strongly Republican, and notwithstanding a solidly conservative voting record, he nearly lost to a mediocre Republican challenger in 2010 and a stronger Republican in 2012. McIntyre opted to retire in 2014, and most observers believe his 2012 challenger -- former state Sen. David Rouzer -- will defeat New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield in the fall, ending a century of Democratic hegemony in the region.