February 5, 2014
Please, why is this happening?
We do not deserve this.
North Carolina has become difficult terrain for Democrats since the Republican-controlled legislature redrew congressional districts in 2011 with the goal of more or less eliminating them from the state’s House delegation.
But Clay Aiken, the 2003 runner-up on “American Idol,” announced Wednesday that he was going against the odds to make a run in North Carolina’s Second District. “This is not a whim for me,” he said in a telephone interview. “I’ve been thinking of this for over a year.”
The race is decidedly uphill for Mr. Aiken, who is running as a Democrat in a district that Mitt Romney won in 2012 with 58 percent of the vote. Put another way: “No chance,” said Nathan Gonzales, the deputy editor of The Rothenberg Political Report.
But Mr. Aiken, who has to get past two primary opponents, says he knows what he is in for and believes that votes cast by the Republican incumbent, Representative Renee Ellmers, including some that reduced funding for military programs in a state with an important Army base, give him an opening. “My opponent is going to have to run on her record,” he said, noting that Mr. Romney’s showing in the district was better than hers.
Ms. Ellmers, who ran in 2010 with the support of the Tea Party movement and barely squeaked into office, has dismissed Mr. Aiken as unable to win “Idol” and thus ill equipped to unseat her. (Her spokeswoman did not respond to emails requesting comment.) Ms. Ellmers, a nurse, quickly grew close to her party’s leadership team and helps it gather votes for tough bills.