Steve Bergstrom claims we can’t win in Wake County!

At the Raleigh North GOP precinct meeting last week, Steve Bergstrom claimed that we cannot win county-wide seats:

We’re not going to win here next year in Raleigh in all these races.  Right, how do we go about winning?  Well…I’m sorry, does anybody think that we are actually going to win those?  You think we are going to win countywide?  If you think we are going to win countywide races, you haven’t been paying attention…”

Everyone’s jaws dropped (one guy says “Wow!” in the background). How could someone competing to become our party leader be so defeatist? Is his claim really true? What do the data tell us?

The recent election of Cheryl Caulfield and Wing Ng to the Wake County School Board shows how compelling candidates can win, even in a minority Republican district.

Ng competed in District 3, where only 30% of the voters on Election Day were Republican. Yet he won 39% of the Unaffiliated vote, leading to a win of 49% against Hammack’s 41%.

Caulfield competed in District 1, where also 30% of the voters on Election Day were Republican. She won 65% of the Unaffiliated vote, leading to a resounding win of 59% against Clapsaddle’s 41%.

Contrast their wins to Bergstrom’s lackluster performance competing for a School Board seat in District 8. On Election Day, 26% of the voters in District 8 were Republicans, similar to Districts 1 and 3. But Bergstrom won only 39% of the vote, losing to Mahaffey’s 60%. Bergstrom performed poorly with the Unaffiliated, winning only 22% of their votes. He even lost in his home precinct, 06-10!

Everyone agrees that winning the Unaffiliated is the key to winning in Wake. How is a candidate who couldn’t convince the Unaffiliated in his home district to vote for him qualified to lead us into the 2024 elections?

Caulfield and Ng demonstrate that strong candidates can indeed win elections in Wake County. And let’s not forget Beth Farrell! We just need to stop running weak candidates.

My analysis by precinct is here.

By Stephen

About me

Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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