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Making sense of the 2020 vote

Reporters for The 9th Street Journal spent the last three months covering all aspects of the 2020 campaign. They analyzed the postcards that filled your mailbox, the videos that popped up on Facebook and the ads you saw on TV. They interviewed the candidates, they attended events (at a safe distance) and they watched the speeches.

They also kept an eye on the election itself and explored questions about mail-in ballots, the Postal Service and whether the state and county election boards could hold an election during a pandemic.

Now, the reporters get to reflect on what they saw with end-of-campaign columns that explore some aspect of their beats.

In Senate race, text messages made the difference

The campaign for U.S. Senate had an October surprise, a last-minute revelation that Democrat Cal Cunningham had been sending romantic text messages to a woman who was not his wife. The messages weren’t very spicy, but they may have cost him the election, writes Chris Kuo.

Kathy Manning should thank mapmakers for her Greensboro win

The 6th Congressional District was one of two in the state to flip from Republican to Democratic control. The reason, writes Kalley Huang, was simply a favorable map that gave Kathy Manning the Democratic voters in Greensboro and Winston-Salem she needed to beat Lee Haywood.

Timmons-Goodson couldn’t overcome partisan pull in Fayetteville District

In the final week before the election, there were signs that Pat Timmons-Goodson might pull off an upset against incumbent Richard Hudson in the 8th Congressional District. But in the end, writes Maya Miller, she couldn’t overcome the Republican leanings in that district, which gave Hudson a solid victory.

Contrary to predictions of gloom and doom, election went smoothly

There also were plenty of predictions about the election. Officials worried that they wouldn’t be able to muster enough poll workers and President Trump, among others, raised questions about widespread fraud. But Rebecca Torrence writes that all signs indicate the election went smoothly.

1 million mail-in ballots, not many problems

Mail-in voting also went smoothly for the most part, writes Rose Wong. That’s quite a feat because the state handled 1 million mail-in ballots, an unprecedented number.

Wake’s congressional seat was decided months ago, by a new map

Mapmakers also determined the outcome in Wake’s new congressional district, which our reporter Michaela Towfighi says for Republicans was like a surrendered soldier.

Forest ran too far to the right for pandemic voters

Republicans won most of the big races in North Carolina, but not Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. Why not? Caroline Petrow-Cohen writes that his campaign, focused on criticism of Gov. Roy Cooper’s management of COVID-19, was too far to the right for NC voters.

Controversies had little effect on Cawthorn’s campaign

You might think that his glowing words about Hitler’s home, the allegations by women of aggressive behavior, or several other controversies would have hurt Madison Cawthorn. Not in the 11th District, writes Bella Caracta, even with liberal Asheville once again included.