When this blog began, North Carolina was a true toss up state. The state was truly volatile, as Obama clinched it with the unlikeliest of victories—North Carolina has a long history of swinging Republican.
The nation focused its attention on the Tar Heel State in September, as Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention. Thunderstorms put a damper on the logistics of the event, forcing Obama to give his nomination acceptance speech in a much smaller than anticipated venue. Furthermore, his speech paled in comparison to Bill Clintons vibrant speech the previous night. Many hailed the speech as getting done what needed to be done, but staying safe.
According to RealClearPolitics polls, Romney has been ahead of Obama for the most part since June. For a bit in late September, Obama clinched a lead, but Romney overtook him and has been widening his margin ever since. Right now, the RCP Average states Romney holds 49.2% to Obama’s 46.2%.
Both campaigns have worked extensively in the state. However, the President has not set foot on North Carolina soil since the DNC, opting to utilize surrogates instead. Romney visited the state in his bus tour and obtained the support of Billy Graham in a visit to the reverend’s home in Montreat.
Last minute campaigning has included a number of Obama campaign surrogates like Jill Biden and Bill Clinton. The Romney campaign has been largely absent and have focused efforts elsewhere, comfortable with their solid lead in the polls. The Examiner predicts that Romney’s lead will extend all the way to 52%.
Other factors contribute to the Republican lead here. The state’s unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation, and current Democratic governor Bev Perdue is one of the least liked governors in the country. She is not seeking reelection and Republican candidate and former mayor of Charlotte Pat McCrory is leading over his opponent by almost 15 points to replace her.
Early voting in North Carolina has been higher this year (2.55 million) as compared to 2008 (2.4 million). Democrats made up 48% of registered early voters and Republicans made up 32%, according to the Rocky Mount Telegram.
This is the state of North Carolina as the nation heads into Election Day. My prediction has held steady since I began blogging on the state, and I stand by it today. The Tar Heel state will go red in this election, and Romney will seize the fifteen electoral votes on his journey to 270.