When it comes to the next election, voters in Georgia and North Carolina are going to have to make some tough choices about who to support, according to new polling from the University of Georgia and the University at Buffalo.
The results are significant because they come as Democrats and Republicans are locked in a tight race in the state and, in North Carolina, as a result of a recent Supreme Court decision that opened the door to a legal challenge to the state’s restrictive voting laws.
Both of those states were previously considered safe Democratic strongholds.
Both states voted for the nation’s first female president, Barack Obama, in 2008.
Both also were the birthplace of a Republican senator who later became one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal critics.
But both states have become much more Democratic in recent years.
So, if Democrats want to win back the Senate, they need to find a way to win over moderate and conservative voters, said Patrick Murray, the political science professor at the University’s College of Charleston who was not involved in the research.
In Georgia, the GOP has the advantage in seats where Republicans currently hold majorities in the House of Representatives.
And in North Charlotte, where Democrats have held power for decades, Republicans hold a clear advantage.
In North Carolina on Tuesday, the Republican Party holds a 7-point lead over the Democratic Party, according the RealClearPolitics polling average.
In North Carolina as a whole, the margin is more than seven points.
But Murray says Democrats are also vulnerable to the threat of a backlash from Donald Trump supporters.
In the state where Trump has been the most popular, North Carolina is a battleground state, Murray said.
So how does one combat that threat?
The Democratic candidates have to convince people that they are better than Trump, Murray told ABC News.
If they say they are, they’re going to be more popular.
But it’s going to take some persuading, and that can only come from someone who has been on the campaign trail for a while.
The candidates must also address the fear of a Trump presidency.
Murray says Trump supporters are already worried about the possibility of a wave election, and they’ve shown a willingness to say that they will vote for Democrats if they get to the polls.
Murray says the Democrats need to try to reach out to voters who feel the way Trump voters feel, like voters who don’t know or aren’t aware of how to vote.
He said it’s important to make sure that you make it clear to the people that you are going back to the values of the people who voted for you, that you’re going back for fairness and opportunity and to try and be respectful of the voters who made you vote for you.
Murray said it will be important to keep talking to voters, but also making sure that they know that they can talk to someone about it.
If they don’t get to that point, Murray says the party has a real challenge.