Native Americans likely helped republicans in NCs special election

Mar 2012
New Hampshire
The result of Tuesday’s special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District didn’t take many political analysts by surprise. Republican Dan Bishop was predicted to win the district, which had been in Republican hands since 1963.

However, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, proved crucial to Bishop’s victory. The Lumbee are culturally conservative, church-going and entrepreneurial. The Lumbee make up a plurality of residents in Robeson County, located in the southeastern part of the district. Lumbee have historically voted Democratic. But that’s slowly changing. Lumbee are pro-life and pro-traditional marriage.

Many Lumbee feel that the national Democratic party has simply left them behind as they’ve embraced more extreme social and economic positions. Democrats’ opposition to voter identification laws, support for abortion-on-demand and attacks on religious liberty have alienated many Lumbee.

Bishop’s embrace of President Trump during the campaign helped him with Lumbee voters. On the backs of Lumbee voters, Trump became the first Republican since 1972 to win Robeson County. Trump won in 2016 in part because he campaigned against the free trade agreements that have devastated our communities. For decades Lumbees were told by their local leaders which candidates to vote for, and typically those candidates were Democratic. In Tuesday’s special election, many Lumbee broke with the tribal leaders to pull the lever for the Republican.

Why my American Indian tribe voted Republican in NC's special election