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Two ENC Congressional Races Look Promising For Incumbents

Forecasts favor the incumbents in two Eastern North Carolina congressional races. 

In the state's 1st Congressional District, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D) is more than 99 percent likely to win re-election, FiveThirtyEight’s House elections forecast model predicts.

Butterfield, who’s seeking his eighth term in office, is facing Republican challenger Roger Allison, a business consultant who has never held office.   In 2016, Butterfield beat his Republican challenger by 39 points.  

The solidly blue district voted for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the last two presidential elections.

Butterfield also benefits because he’s an incumbent, said Jody Baumgartner, a political scientist at East Carolina University. Baumgartner says congressional incumbents have name recognition, along with other advantages that increase the likelihood they’ll win re-election.

One of the advantages is that they find it so much easier to raise money because they’re in Washington, they’re actually in Washington, where the people who donate money are,” Baumgartner said.

Butterfield has outraised Allison by $696,435, the latest federal campaign finance reports show.  As of last Wednesday, Butterfield had $560,415 cash on hand.  Allison had $104 cash on hand.

In the 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Walter Jones (R) is running unopposed, ensuring he’ll keep his seat. Jones, who’s held the office for more than two decades, announced in April that this is his final re-election bid.  In the Republican primaries, Jones defeated two challengers.