Why does New Hanover County play a big part in the 2020 election?

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — With the 2020 election right around the corner, experts explain why New Hanover County could be an important county to win over.

North Carolina is known as a swing state. Nelson Beaulieu, a political science professor at Cape Fear Community College, says there’s only around a 55,000 vote difference between Democratic and Republican voters statewide.

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Not only is North Carolina a swing state, Beaulieu says New Hanover County is a swing county.

“If you can carry New Hanover County, chances are you’re going to carry the state,” Beaulieu said. “In recent years, North Carolina has certainly been a battleground state, and this election year will be no exception. Recent polls show that Donald Trump and Joe Biden are really neck and neck.”

President Donald Trump is expected to visit Wilmington on Wednesday. Experts say New Hanover is an important county to win over.

“In recent years, North Carolina has certainly been a battleground state, and this election year will be no exception,” UNCW political science professor Aaron King said. “Recent polls show that Donald Trump and Joe Biden are really neck and neck.”

Beaulieu says the biggest margin of difference between Democrat and Republican voters has been 3.9%. 

“120,000 votes are anticipated for this year, and last year, the difference between the two presidential candidates was less than 4,000, so we’re always very competitive,” Beaulieu  said. “We’re always very close.”

As a whole, Beaulieu believes North Carolina is different from some other swing states.

“I think our state is a swing state in the way the country is,” Beaulieu said. “I think it represents the country very well in that, there are a lot of liberal-minded people in our blue cities, and there are a whole lot of people in the rural areas who are deeply conservative.”

With such a close split, UNCW Political Science Professor Aaron King says, “in a battleground state, in a region of the state that is relatively close politically, they can certainly swing either way.”

King says it serves as reminder that your vote always matters.

“As stressful as it can be, I think people need to find a way to participate and make the most of their opportunity to have a say,” King said. 

President Trump is visiting the Battleship North Carolina Wednesday to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II.

Early voting is NC runs from October 15-31.