T'was the night before Election, and all through the (U.S.) House...

Gerry Mander is not as strong as he was:

The GOP’s current 10-3 advantage relied on concentrating Democratic voters into some districts and splitting Democratic strongholds in others, a strategy known as “cracking and packing.” North Carolina’s new districts, now much more unpacked and uncracked than the previous iteration, all but assures a two-seat Democratic gain in districts centered in the Triangle and Triad, making the partisan split at least 8-5.

Whether the outcome this year stays 8-5 or results in further gains for Democrats hinges on a presidential race in a state with shifting demographics and a history of bouncing between parties on top of the ticket races.

Picking up (at least) two more seats in our Congressional Delegation is something positive to chew on these days. But I get an even bigger warm fuzzy knowing that North Carolina is actively defending or even growing the Democratic majority in the U.S. House. We are moving progress forward, not just helplessly watching from the fringe. That two seat gain is a victory we shouldn't take for granted, even if we fall short on these (three) other seats:

Monday News: Four thousand, three hundred eighty three


CORONAVIRUS HAS INFECTED OVER 276,000 NORTH CAROLINIANS: At least 276,692 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 4,383 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 2,057 new COVID-19 cases, down from 2,805 the day before. About 6% of tests were reported positive as of Friday, the latest day for which data is available. That’s higher than the 5% target set by health officials. At least 1,122 people in North Carolina were reportedly hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday, down from 1,172 the day before. A Durham homeless shelter has reported 18 COVID-19 cases among residents and staff. Staff at the Urban Ministries of Durham learned Monday that a resident had tested positive for the virus. An additional 16 residents — who will also be moved to an isolated location — and one staff member subsequently tested positive.

Practicing preaching

I'll bet most people reading this have already voted -- and may have done even more to help with the election. You're among the 1% of people who are politically involved, I appreciate all you do. But there's still work to be done.  As I write this, my wife Jane is coordinating a frenzy of phone banking here in Orange County. Her teams made 8000 calls yesterday.

Which brings me to one more request.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


TRUMP'S SPIN ONLY PROMOTES COVID 19'S DEADLY SPREAD: Against all reason, evidence and even concern for the safety and health of Americans, President Donald Trump and his White House echo chamber continue to treat the COVID-19 pandemic as a political problem and not a life-and-death global crisis. While Trump’s public relations operations release mission accomplished statements concerning ending the pandemic, numbers of COVID-19 infected and dead Americans continues to expand – and at an increasing rate (8.8 million cases and 226,000 deaths nationwide; 264,000 cases in North Carolina and 4,236 deaths). To anyone listening to the comments spreading virally from Trump and the White House in the last few days, it is hard to tell if they’re declaring victory, announcing “mission accomplished” or simply accepting surrender. “We’re rounding the turn, we’re doing great. Our numbers are incredible,” Trump said during his appearance last Saturday in Lumberton.

Saturday News: Let them eat cake?


ONLY 7% OF POOR NC FAMILIES WILL RECEIVE $335 RELIEF CHECKS: Under program guidelines, the checks automatically will be sent to more than 1 million of the state’s middle- and upper-income families, with household incomes as high as half a million dollars annually. The state hopes to disperse some $440 million by Dec. 15. But low-income families — annual incomes of between $10,000 and $20,000 — who did not file a 2019 state tax return had to apply by Oct. 15 to receive a check. Since Parker did not know that Extra Credit money was out there, according to the lawsuit, she missed the filing deadline. Tens of thousands of other needy families did the same. According to the lawsuit, only 1 in 14 low-income households in North Carolina are now in line to receive a check.


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