Dan versus Roy: Every lost second

Published June 11, 2020

By Carter Wrenn

Dan Forest is a good, decent man and he’s the most conservative candidate on the ballot for statewide office this fall but he’s running against an incumbent Governor who has a fine-tuned political machine with its eyes locked on beating Dan Forest.

We’re a swing state and, before the coronavirus epidemic upended the world, Roy Cooper held a narrow lead over Dan but a poll last week by a Republican group showed a new reality.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden were tied – 45% to 45%.

Thom Tillis and Cal Cunningham were dead even.

But Dan Forest trailed Roy Cooper by 18 points – 37% to 55%.

Coronavirus had crumbled the ground beneath Dan’s feet.

While Trump and Biden were even among Independent voters (40% Trump, 40% Biden), Dan Forest trailed Roy Cooper by almost 30 points (29% to 58%.) There were Independents who were voting for Trump and Thom Tillis but not Dan Forest.

That may be because Independents approve of Roy’s shutdowns but, at the same time, Roy’s made mistakes – though, granted, those mistakes have gone largely unnoticed. You seldom read about them in the newspapers. Or hear about them on TV.

Dan needs to start talking to Independent voters about Roy’s mistakes.

And, on top of coronavirus, we have another turn-the world -upside-down earthquake: Riots.

Phil Berger, the Republican Leader in the Senate, called out Roy for his initial tepid response during the first two nights of riots – Senator Andy Wells was even blunter.  But Dan Forest needs to be the one holding Roy Cooper’s feet to the fire for looters who were not arrested.

Decent to his bones Dan Forest has landed in a fix. And the clock’s ticking. It takes a long time to close a 30-point gap. And time’s running out. Every passing second takes Roy Cooper a step closer to reelection.