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A new NC congressional map is more competitive for Democrats — including near Charlotte

The North Carolina Senate will vote Thursday on a new congressional map. The vote comes one day before a court-ordered deadline to produce a map that doesn’t discriminate against Democratic voters.

Nick de la Canal: The Senate released a map Wednesday, and then decided, “No, we are pulling that from consideration.” Then Thursday morning, they released what appears to be the final congressional map. How do the two differ?

Steve Harrison: Wednesday’s map could be described as a 7-5-2 map: seven safe Republican seats, five safe Democratic seats and two toss-ups.

Republicans say the new map is a 6-4-4: six GOP seats, four Democratic seats and four toss-ups.

An analysis of all statewide elections from 2016 to 2020 shows those four seats were decided by less than 1 percentage point. Republicans won two, Democrats won two.

De la Canal: So, we have more competitive seats. What are the other takeaways from the map?

Harrison: In Wednesday’s map, Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Manning from Greensboro had a safe seat. Now she’s in one of the highly competitive ones.

In a big year for Democrats, they could win eight of 14 seats. But in a big year for Republicans, they could conceivably win 11 of 14 seats.

One of those safe Democratic seats is in the rural northeast part of the state. Joe Biden won it by 6 percentage points. That advantage can be overcome in a big Republican year.

De la Canal: And what about Charlotte?

Harrison: Mecklenburg County is split into two districts. It had to be because of how many people live here. Democrat Alma Adams is in a safe seat.

And if you live in southwest Charlotte and a lot of south Charlotte, then you would be in this new district that includes Gaston, Cleveland and Rutherford counties. And that’s where Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn says he’s going to run.

Copyright 2022 WFAE. To see more, visit WFAE.

WFAE's Nick de la Canal can be heard on public radio airwaves across the Charlotte region, bringing listeners the latest in local and regional news updates. He's been a part of the WFAE newsroom since 2013, when he began as an intern. His reporting helped the station earn an Edward R. Murrow award for breaking news coverage following the Keith Scott shooting and protests in September 2016. More recently, he's been reporting on food, culture, transportation, immigration, and even the paranormal on the FAQ City podcast. He grew up in Charlotte, graduated from Myers Park High, and received his degree in journalism from Emerson College in Boston. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal