Incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper (D) defeated Dan Forest (R), Al Pisano (C) and Steven DiFiore II (L) in the election for governor in North Carolina.
Cooper was elected in 2016 after defeating incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R). Cooper received 49% of the vote to McCrory’s 48.8%.
Cooper’s 2020 gubernatorial opponent, Forest, the state’s lieutenant governor, was first elected in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016 with 52% of the vote to Democrat Linda Coleman’s 45%.
Seventeen states elect governors and lieutenant governors separately. North Carolina is one of three states with a governor and lieutenant governor from different parties, along with Louisiana and Vermont. North Carolina is also one of eight states that both voted for Donald Trump (R) in 2016 and has a Democratic governor.
North Carolina is one of 14 states with a divided government. A Democrat holds the governorship and Republicans control both the state house of representatives and state senate. In the 2020 elections, Democrats would need to flip 10% of state’s senate seats and 5% of state House seats to take control of each chamber and make the state a Democratic trifecta.
Eleven states are electing a governor this year. These include seven states with Republican governors and four with Democratic governors. Ballotpedia has identified six of these races as battlegrounds, four of these in states with Republican incumbents and two in states with Democratic incumbents.