North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson speaks during a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on March 2, 2024. Robinson won the party's nomination for North Carolina Governor on Super Tuesday.

Mark Robinson’s Stance Risks Alienating GOP Voters in North Carolina Governor Race

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Phebe Roberson, a 75-year-old former Republican, expressed her strong disapproval of Donald Trump. She made it clear that she did not support him in North Carolina’s GOP primary earlier this month.

Roberson also did not vote for Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, the Republican candidate for governor who had Trump’s backing before the primary.

She shared her feelings of alienation from the Republican Party, which she feels has been overtaken by the far right. Roberson, who has lived in the state capital for around 40 years, now identifies as an independent.

Robinson has been a controversial figure, drawing criticism for his comments, which include endorsing antisemitic conspiracy theories and harshly criticizing victims of school shootings.

Previously, Robinson made headlines for his derogatory remarks about homosexuality and transgender people, labeling them as “filth,” and for his negative comments about the Civil Rights Movement.

North Carolina is expected to play a crucial role in the 2024 elections, potentially determining the presidency for either party. Trump won the state in the last two presidential elections by narrow margins. However, Robinson’s polarizing nature might push more voters away from the Republican Party, according to some voters and political analysts.

Justin Bradford, a 47-year-old resident of Pinehurst, North Carolina, shared his journey from being a loyal GOP voter to becoming an unaffiliated, fiscally conservative moderate. He highlighted his disillusionment with the Republican Party, especially since 2016.

Bradford, like Roberson, chose to vote for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in the state primary. He expressed concern over the escalation of violence and the divisive rhetoric since Trump’s presidency and Robinson’s rise to prominence.

Research by Progress NC Action, a liberal-leaning advocacy group, suggests that Robinson’s remarks and demeanor remind many of the former president.

Robinson first gained attention for his passionate defense of gun rights at a Greensboro City Council meeting in 2018. He was elected as North Carolina’s first Black lieutenant governor in 2020.

Mike Lonergan, Robinson’s campaign communications director, defended the lieutenant governor, accusing Democrats of misrepresenting his comments.

Bradford criticized Robinson for inciting hate in a state that is struggling with its Confederate history and deep-seated bigotry.

The article also touches on the significance of North Carolina in the upcoming presidential race, with both parties eyeing the state as a potential battleground.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper expressed optimism about winning the state for Joe Biden, citing the current momentum and Trump’s increasingly controversial behavior.

Roberson, who once supported Trump, has since changed her party affiliation due to her disagreements with his actions and rhetoric.

The article concludes with a discussion on abortion, an issue that is driving voters, including moderate conservatives, away from Robinson and Trump. Public opinion in North Carolina is nearly split on the state’s new 12-week abortion limit, with a slight majority favoring abortion rights.

Robinson, who has previously indicated support for a total abortion ban, has attempted to moderate his stance during his gubernatorial campaign.

Bradford shared his concerns for his daughter’s future in the current political and social climate, reflecting a sense of unease about the direction of the country.

This comprehensive overview captures the political dynamics and key issues at play in North Carolina, highlighting the perspectives of voters and the impact of controversial figures like Trump and Robinson on the state’s political landscape.