MEBANE, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's energized and financially flush Democratic Party is casting its get-out-the-vote net this year into areas once ceded to rivals as it strives to wrest the legislature from Republicans and end a long-running battle between lawmakers and the executive branch.
The party has its work cut out for it: Even as North Carolina has come to be seen as a swing state nationally, its state legislature is as deeply Republican as anywhere in the South, with veto-proof GOP supermajorities in both houses - aided by favorable redistricting - and many seats Democrats never even bothered to contest.
For the first time in recent history, Democrats offered candidates for all 170 state seats, echoing a strong push by Democrats across the country to tap into voter dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump's presidency and anger over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The party is trying to flip nearly two dozen U.S. House seats to regain control of the chamber. Republicans are trying to maintain a slim Senate majority and defend several governors' mansions.
In North Carolina, some hope for a large-enough wave to take control of the legislature for the first time since 2011. A more attainable goal would be to end the veto-proof majorities, which would require them to gain four seats in the House or six in the Senate. To gain control of both chambers, they would need to win 16 House and 11 Senate seats.