TEACHER INVOLVEMENT IN NC ELECTION LEFT AN INDELIBLE MARK: To kick off the election campaign, NCAE organized the May rally that brought at least 19,000 teachers and public-education supporters to Raleigh. The event caused at least 42 school districts that educate more than 1 million students to cancel classes for the day. The march helped personalize the concerns teachers had, according to Matt Ellinwood, director of the Education and Law Project at the liberal N.C. Justice Center. Instead of just seeing NCAE complaining, Ellinwood said, some voters connected the issue to someone they knew, such as their own child’s teacher. “When people saw it was their own teacher, someone in their own community ... it was very powerful,” Ellinwood said. As part of NCAE’s post-march push to the election, the group encouraged teachers to become involved in the political process to support legislative candidates.
DEMOCRATS OWN WAKE COUNTY AFTER 90% TURNOUT: Almost every Republican candidate in Wake County was defeated this week in what party leaders called a "brutal" election. Several factors indicate that the county's "blue wave" could be the beginning of a long-term trend. Just eight years ago, Republican candidates won 13 of 25 competitive partisan races on the 2010 Wake County ballot. This year, out of 32 competitive partisan races, GOP candidates won only two: a state Senate seat and a District Court bench. The few other Republicans who won were in nonpartisan races or were unopposed. "Tuesday was brutal, and we are still looking at the data to see what we can learn and how we can adapt," said Wake County Republican Party Chairman Charles Hellwig. Hellwig estimated Democrats turned out 90 percent of their 2016 base in Wake County, while the GOP turned out only 75 percent.
NC CHAMBER SPENT BIG TO BOOST REPUBLICANS: The N.C. Chamber’s independent expenditure committee spent more than $400,000 on Facebook ads and mailers supporting 14 Republican state legislators, eight of whom won. About half of that money was supplemented with last-minute contributions to the committee from Duke Energy, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Reynolds tobacco. Republicans benefited from other independent committees: The N.C. Property Rights Fund spent about $200,000 on behalf of more than a dozen mostly GOP lawmakers in the final weeks. The Greensboro-based nonprofit organization is an independent expenditure committee connected to the N.C. Association of Realtors. Mainstreet Merchants for a Better North Carolina spent about $100,000 on Republican House and Senate incumbents, with help from $240,000 tied to the N.C. Retail Merchants Association.
JUDGES PRESERVE DACA WHILE BORDER PATROL DETAINS OVER 50,000 IN OCTOBER: The agency released new figures Friday, the same day President Donald Trump issued an executive order declaring that anyone entering the U.S. illegally from Mexico outside of established ports would be ineligible for asylum. Legal groups sued Friday to challenge Trump's order. The Border Patrol says 50,975 people were apprehended on the southwest border in October. That's double the number from October 2017 and the highest monthly figure since 2014. The figure includes 4,991 unaccompanied minors. Another 23,121 people were considered "family units," parents and children traveling together. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday decided to keep in place an injunction blocking Trump's decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Lawsuits by California and others challenging the Trump administration's decision will continue in federal court while the injunction remains in place. DACA has protected 700,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families that overstayed visas.
TRUMP GOES BALLISTIC AFTER LOSING HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: In the three days after the Democrats captured the House, President Trump fired his attorney general and replaced him with a loyalist critical of both the courts and the Russia investigation. He banned a CNN correspondent from the White House, while threatening he would do the same to other journalists. And he accused election officials in Florida and Arizona of rigging the vote against candidates he had campaigned for. It was a remarkable assault on the nation’s institutions, even by a president who has gleefully taken a hammer to the press, to judges and prosecutors he does not like, and to an electoral process he has denounced as fraudulent since the day he took office. Mr. Trump’s actions suggested a president lashing out after a midterm election loss that he had initially cast as a victory. Now he is girding for battle with a newly empowered Democratic opposition — one armed with subpoena power and a long list of questions about his conduct in office and ties to Russia — and it has brought out a fresh aggressiveness in him.