North Carolina was one of the hardest pills to swallow on election night in 2008. It wasn't that we lost, but that we lost by 14,000 votes, and that a former Republican Representative of 4 terms was the reason we lost. Bob Barr, running on the Libertarian Party ticket received over 25,000 votes in the State, votes that would have otherwise gone for McCain.
It absolutely sucked. Republicans not only failed to win North Carolina's 15 electoral votes, but we also failed to regain the Governor's Mansion, and to reelect Senator Elizabeth Dole. Local news organizations gave all the credit to Black voters, who supported Barack Obama by a 19:1 ratio.
However, times have changed. Barack Obama's disapproval rating is up to 55%, Senator Richard Burr's reelection numbers are looking strong at 54%, and at least three Congressional Democrats, especially one Representative by the name of Bob Etheridge, are facing serious Republican challengers.
Does this mean the eventual Republican Nominee is a lock to win the State back in 2012? No it doesn't, but it does mean that Obama's 2008 Southern success was not a shift in long term ideological or political demographics in the South. Rather, it was representative of highly motivated black voters, a trend that is not going to last.
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