2010 North Carolina's 7th congressional district election

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North Carolina's 7th District Election, 2010

← 2008 November 2, 2010 2012 →
  Mikemcintyre.jpg Ilario Pantano -- portrait shot.png
Candidate Mike McIntyre Ilario Pantano
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 113,957 98,328
Percentage 53.68% 46.32%


Representative before election

Mike McIntyre

Elected Representative

Mike McIntyre

North Carolina's 7th congressional district election, 2010 was an election held to determine who would represent North Carolina's 7th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives during the 112th Congress. The candidates were incumbent Democrat Mike McIntyre and Republican former United States Marine Corps second lieutenant Ilario Pantano. Mike McIntyre defeated Ilario Pantano, winning a seventh term in the United States House of Representatives, 54% to 46%. It was McIntyre's closest reelection campaign to date.[1]


North Carolina's 7th District is located in Southeastern North Carolina, stretching from the Sandhills to Wilmington. The district has a Cook PVI rating of R+5, meaning the district is slightly more conservative than average. The 7th district was won by Republican President George W. Bush in 2004 by a large margin and Republican Senator John McCain in 2008 by a slimmer margin.

The 7th district race was especially competitive in 2010 due to uncertainty about the nation's economy and negative approval of the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama. Mike McIntyre, a six-term conservative Democrat from Lumberton, supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[2] However, McIntyre opposed most of the other major pieces of legislation passed by Democrats in the 111th Congress, including the American Clean Energy and Security Act[3] and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[4] Pantano used McIntyre's vote in favor of the stimulus bill and his vote to elect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House[5] to attack him, while McIntyre spun Pantano's association with Wall Street against him. Pantano was already a controversial figure after he was accused of shooting two unarmed Iraqis while serving in Iraq in 2004.[6]

In the general election, McIntyre was endorsed by the National Rifle Association,[7] the United States Chamber of Commerce,[8] and the National Right to Life Committee.[9]



Poll Source Dates Administered Mike McIntyre (D) Ilario Pantano (R) Undecided
Grove Insight October 3–5, 2010 52% 41%
SurveyUSA September 24–26, 2010 45% 46%
Public Opinion Strategies August 31 – September 2, 2010 41% 48%

Primary Election Results[edit]

Ilario Pantano upset former 7th district Republican congressional candidate Will Breazeale. Breazeale lost to McIntyre in 2008 with only 32% of the vote to McIntyre's 68%. Breazeale endorsed Mike McIntyre after he lost 2010's Republican primary to Ilario Pantano.[10]

Republican primary results[11]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ilario Pantano 17,057 51.03
Republican Will Breazeale 11,559 34.58
Republican Randy Crow 4,809 14.39
Total votes 33,425 100

Mike McIntyre was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

General Election Results[edit]

Mike McIntyre won reelection by a slim margin compared to his last few elections, with 53.7% of the vote. Pantano did well in the Wilmington suburbs and nearly claimed victory in New Hanover and Cumberland Counties, but McIntyre's 44-point margin of victory in Robeson County and strong showings in other rural counties put him over the top.

General Election[12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mike McIntyre 113,957 53.68
Republican Ilario Pantano 98,328 46.32
Total votes 212,285 100
County McIntyre
Robeson 72.22% 16,773 27.78% 6,452
Bladen 65.87% 8,196 34.13% 4,247
Columbus 62.84% 10,436 37.16% 6,170
Scotland* 62.71% 37 37.29% 22
Duplin* 60.75% 5,831 39.25% 3,774
New Hanover 51.33% 32,900 48.67% 31,201
Cumberland* 50.78% 10,886 49.22% 10,550
Pender 46.76% 7,726 53.24% 8,798
Brunswick 45.04% 17,983 54.96% 21,940
Sampson* 38.06% 3,179 61.94% 5,174

*County is not entirely located within the 7th district.


  1. ^ "November 2, 2010 General and Special Elections Official Results". State Board of Elections. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  2. ^ "Roll Call Vote". Library of Congress.
  3. ^ "Roll Call Vote". Library of Congress.
  4. ^ "Roll Call Vote". Library of Congress.
  5. ^ "Roll Call Vote". Library of Congress.
  6. ^ Pilkington, Ed (26 October 2010). "US veteran who killed unarmed Iraqis wins Tea Party support". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  7. ^ NRA Endorses Congressman Mike McIntyre - Mike McIntyre for Congress
  8. ^ U.S. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Congressman McIntyre - Mike McIntyre for Congress
  9. ^ National Right to Life Endorses Congressman Mike McIntyre - Mike McIntyre for Congress
  10. ^ "Former GOP Candidate Backs McIntyre". WWAY.
  11. ^ "Republican Primary Results". Our Campaigns.
  12. ^ "2010 General Election Results". Our Campaigns.