Edit: Moving this up top, because it’s that important: Please donate to The Brief ActBlue fundraising slate.

North Carolina is a purple state, but one that leans red. 

Barack Obama won it by around 14,000 votes in 2008, or less than half a percent. He lost it to Mitt Romney in 2012 by nearly 100,000 votes. 

Donald Trump won the state by around 3.5% in 2016, then won it by a smaller 1.5% in 2020, or just 74,000 votes. 

That means it’s a slight-lean red state, right? 

Well, since 2000, Republicans have held the governorship just once, for a single four-year term. That doesn’t mean those elections haven’t been close. 2000 was a 13-point blowout Democratic victory. But like the rest of the South, the state moved quickly rightward. Democrats might win, but only by three- to four-point margins. It’s a real dogfight. 

And then there’s the Senate, which is at the center of North Carolina’s 2022 political battleground. 

Remember, we have a 50-50 Senate, with Democrats holding the vice-presidential tie-breaking vote. With Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona obstructing their own party’s agenda in the Senate, that “majority” is beyond tenuous. 

Democrats face a harsh 2022 Senate map, defending tough seats in Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada. Offensive opportunities all live in hard-fought battlegrounds—Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. Winning this open-seat Senate race is crucial not just for overall control of the Senate, but for any chance to have an outright Senate Democratic majority, one that would eliminate the filibuster, pass real election protections, grant statehood to Washington, D.C., and enact other critical progressive priorities. 

So what are our chances of achieving that in a state that has given its electoral votes to the Republican candidate the last three presidential cycles and has had two Republican senators since Sen. John Edwards finished his final term in 2005? Today, on The Brief, we talk to Marcus Bass, Deputy Director for the North Carolina Black Alliance. His organization advocates for North Carolinas historically Black institutions of faith, education, and civic service across the state. In 2020, the North Carolina Black Alliance launched SafeVoterNC, a voter safety and protection resource for underrepresented Black and Brown residents.

Winning North Carolina next year is critical to controlling the Senate and winning the White House in 2024. Funding a grassroots group is the best bang-for-the-buck political donation you can make. And North Carolina Black Alliance is doing fantastic work, so please donate to them if you can. If you are in North Carolina, consider volunteering for their election integrity efforts (among other great things they do). 

Giving to grassroots organizing organizations is the best bang for your political dollar, bar none. Don’t wait until the last minute, giving to campaigns so they can piss the money away on television ads. This early money will do more to help us win a real Senate majority (or prevent losing the chamber) than any wasted dollar on a media buy ever will. 

The North Carolina Black Alliance is on our The Brief ActBlue fundraising slate, highlighting the great organizations doing on-the-ground organizing in 2022 battleground states. 

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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