Many observers say that the election in 2020 may well come down to six states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida and North Carolina. I agree. Of these six, it's fair to say NC gets the least attention. That may not be justified since it should be very competitive indeed this cycle and, if it falls, Trump could be a goner. Right now, the RCP average has Biden leading Trump by 3 in the state and the Natonscape data (since the beginning of the year) have Biden up by a point.
Amy Walter runs down the importance of NC and its highly contestable nature in a good Cook Political Report analysis.
"I have been thinking a lot about North Carolina these days. While the former "Blue Wall" states get the lion's share of coverage, North Carolina is actually the bigger bang for the buck. It is one of just two states — the other is Arizona — to have its presidential contest and its senate race in the Toss Up column. Oh, and it also has a competitive Governor's race.
How North Carolina goes is not just going to determine who wins the White House, but also who controls the Senate.
There's a good reason why the GOP is holding its convention (well, we think there will be an in-person convention) in North Carolina instead of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Michigan. Trump can afford to lose two of those three midwestern states and still hold the White House. But, if he loses North Carolina, the path to 270 is that much harder. For example, if Trump lost Pennsylvania and Michigan, won Wisconsin and carried all the other states he won in 2016, he would win the Electoral College by a squeaker — 270-268. If he lost North Carolina, as well as Pennsylvania and Michigan, but won everywhere else he did in 2016; he would lose, getting 255 electoral votes to Biden's 283.
On the Senate side, Democrats are very bullish (and Republicans quite jittery) about GOP Sen. Thom Tillis' re-election chances. And, it's hard to see how Democrats get to a majority in the Senate without this state. Even if Democrats succeed in knocking off GOP Sens. Cory Gardner (CO), Susan Collins (ME) and Martha McSally (AZ), they are likely to lose one seat, that of Alabama Dem. Doug Jones. That leaves Democrats one seat shy. A win in North Carolina, therefore, would get Democrats to the magic number 50. If Biden wins the presidency, the Democratic Vice President would be the tie-breaking vote."
Kind of whets the appetite, doesn't it?