Monday, September 20, 2004

NC-8: Troutman working webroots campaign

In the Eighth District, Democrat Beth Troutman is challenging incumbent Repub. Robin Hayes. According to, Troutman is trailing badly as far as funds go. But she's running a hard grassroots campaign in the 8th, which just about stretches from Charlotte to Fayetteville (the home of our very own lovely Dan Harrison).

Hayes has won his last two elections by about 9 points, and the '98 election by 2.5 points. The district is always considered a toss-up, and frequently goes to Repub. candidates for the House and legislature but for Dems. in statewide races. A former GOP nominee for Governor (Hunt dismissed him in '96), he's a powerhouse with tons of cash and a lousy record. Given Edwards' presence on the ticket, which might yet help a few Dem. candidates here and there, and Hayes' unfortunate vote for Pres. Bush's fast-track authority, we should be able to make him vulnerable.

Troutman, whose blog is a great touch (albeit a neglected one), has commenced a grassroots, web-based fund-raising operation. Her "9-to-5 Campaign Drive" asks you to contribute $9 and to e-mail 5 of your friends asking them to do the same.

And if $9 is too rich for your blood, you can contribute $5 and ask 9 of your friends to do the same. As a recent college graduate, I find her alternate plan a considerate touch.

Since most of BlueNC's readership appears to be college students, I think this is a plan we can help with. Go contribute.

Here's more district info for the dorky among our audience. Like us.

The 8th extends eastward to Fayetteville's Cumberland County, which casts 17% of the vote, but stops short of including the heavily military neighborhoods just outside the gates of Fort Bragg. The irregular boundaries of the district have a political explanation. Democratic redistricters
included as much of the Democratic Sand Hills as they could, but removed most of Union County, a fast-growing and heavy Republican area just east of Charlotte. And they added central city precincts in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County with some blacks and some affluent white liberals. So this is a split personality district, with very different political leanings in the textile country, the Sand Hills and Charlotte. It has usually been carried by Republican presidential candidates and by North Carolina Democrats in close statewide contests. It has long been
targeted by both Democrats and Republicans as a marginal district and has often been
seriously contested, though over the past three decades it has only changed political hands twice, in 1974 and 1998. (National Journal Almanac, 2004)

(From Jerome Armstrong at


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