2020 Census

With the 2020 U.S. census deadline approaching, North Carolina lags behind its Southern neighbors in its count. Only about 62% of households in the state have responded to the census, and experts say at least 400,000 more households need to be counted to get the most accurate response.

Host Leoneda Inge talks with Stacey Carless, executive director of the N.C. Counts Coalition, about the influence of the census on federal funding and political representation. Leoneda also speaks with Melissa Nobles, political science professor and dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, about the history of racial categorization with the census.

Plus, how the cultural legacy of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls up thoughts of ways other powerful women in political history have fashionably navigated American democracy.


The winding down of the 2020 census must remain on hold nationwide through Sept. 24 at the latest, a federal judge in California has ordered.

This week: A Washington Post story alleged Postmaster General Louis DeJoy cajoled GOP campaign donations from employees of the logistics business he ran in Greensboro. 

Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation consider whether the latest controversy surrounding DeJoy will affect Republican candidates in North Carolina this year.

Also, census watchers are sounding the alarm to Congress about a potential undercount in the state, and the major party candidates for U.S. Senate have their first debate next week. 


Enayet Raheem / Unsplash/ Creative Commons

North Carolina is at risk of losing more than $5.3 billion in federal funding because of a low response rate to the U.S. Census. The managers of the state's population estimates say North Carolina is also at risk of not gaining a 14th congressional seat. 

The 2020 Census is beset with challenges. COVID-19 led to cuts in outreach and information campaigns, as well as pushed back the process of door-to-door census-taker visits. As a result, North Carolina and several other states across the country are set for historic lows in population reporting. 

Governor Roy Cooper will issue a proclamation today declaring it National Census Day in North Carolina. There is an extra push to get the state’s more than 10 million residents counted while also dealing with COVID-19.

Census 2020
Census Bureau

The latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show North Carolina lags behind most states in the percentage of residents who have been counted.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

A two-for this week, recorded at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill in front of a live audience. 

Since the last census a decade ago, urban areas in the state have gained the population and the power. Patrick Woodie, head of the NC Rural Center, explains the push for rural broadband, Medicaid expansion, and for every last North Carolinian to be counted in 2020. 

Then, our WUNCPolitics Podcast regulars on the left and the right — Rob Schofield of the progressive NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the conservative John Locke Foundation — discuss the crowded races on the Super Tuesday primary ballot ... besides the Democratic presidential contest. 


The majority opinion states that the drawing of electoral maps is too political for federal courts to get involved.
SUPERMAC1961 / Flickr Creative Commons

A conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts have no role to play in deciding partisan gerrymandering cases.

The courts have yet to issue their final word on whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

But starting Thursday, the Census Bureau is asking about a quarter-million households in the U.S. to fill out questionnaires that include the question, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

The forms are part of a last-minute, nine-week experiment the federal government is using to gauge how the public could react next year to census forms with the potential census question.

Matt Slocum / AP Photo

Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave his first public statement Wednesday since the release of his report into Russian interference in the 2016 election. His main message: Read the report. Beyond that, he highlighted that charging a sitting president with a crime “was not an option.”

Data source: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics / Whitney Tucker, NC Child

Researchers are warning of the consequences of undercounting young Latino children in next year's census, especially in North Carolina. By some estimates, Latinos make up about 1 in 5 children in the state. A lot hinges on an accurate census count, from political representation to billions of dollars in federal funding.

Census 2020, Census, Carolina Demography, NC Counts Coalition
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Preparations for the 2020 Census are underway in North Carolina, one of the fastest growing states in the nation poised to get another congressional seat after the decennial count.

headshot of Josh Stein, NC flag in the background
Courtesy of NCDOJ

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has signed onto several federal lawsuits since taking office in January 2017. He joined 14 other Democratic attorneys general in a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s plans to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. Earlier this month Stein signed on to a multi-state lawsuit to block a question about citizenship on the upcoming 2020 Census. A week later, he and 15 other Democratic attorneys general filed a motion to intervene in a Texas lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act.

photo of john bolton speaking at a podium
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Former President Jimmy Carter called John Bolton a “war-like” figure who has advocated for attacks against Iraq, Iran and a pre-emptive strike against North Korea. He considers Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser “a disaster for our country.”