Beyond House Bill 2: The Real Reasons that Pat McCrory Lost his Governorship in 2016 (thesis)
This thesis examines North Carolina politics in three parts. First, I delve into the relevant historical context needed to fully understand modern day North Carolina campaigns and elections. Second, I provide a detailed account of the 2016 governor's race to introduce the many complexities and pressure points in the race. Third, I synthesize the conclusions of ten interviews with political experts and operatives in the state of North Carolina to contrast their comments with the overarching media narrative on the race: House Bill 2 cost Pat McCrory his Governorship. Ultimately, I argue that House Bill 2 was one of many factors that led to McCrory's defeat, but it cannot be singlehandedly responsible for the race's outcome. In support of this conclusion, I show how McCrory suffered from underlying character problems that resulted in numerous policy missteps throughout his administration. I also go further to argue that it was these missteps together, not just House Bill 2, that led voters to reject him at the 2016 polls. [From Introduction]
Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]William M. Rhyne is a member of the Class of 2018 of Washington and Lee University.