Rep. G.K. Butterfield’s (D-Wilson) retirement announcement throws the state’s new 2nd District into the slightly competitive range. President Biden would have carried this seat only with a 51-48% margin, thus meaning it could become competitive in a strong Republican year with a viable GOP candidate. Such could be the situation in 2022.
With the 2nd District potentially in play, even the state’s projected 10R-4D delegation split could possibly tilt even more toward the Republicans. That could be balanced, however, because the new 14th District in western North Carolina is more attainable for the Democrats. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-Hendersonville) deciding to run in District 13 means the more politically marginal 14th will move into the open seat category for 2022.