Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election


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The Issues in North Carolina

North Carolina made waves November 6 when it basically handed its government over to Republicans.  From the governor to Lieutenant governor and most House representatives, the GOP has taken control of the Tar Heel State.  Here are some of the issues that yielded this election cycle’s results:

Unemployment

North Carolina’s unemployment is one of the highest in the nation at 9.6%.  Obviously residents called for a complete change in governorship, as former governor Bev Purdue experienced some financial scandals within her campaign staff.  Hopefully, governor-elect Pat McCrory will use his business experience from working at Duke Energy Corp to help out the state.

Education

While this is a nationwide problem as well, Governor McCrory will be able to appoint officers to the State Board of Education early.  He’s also promised to focus on better results rather than increasing budgets to the existing education system.

Transportation

North Carolina also needs an overhaul of its transportation infrastructure.  Right now the State Board of Education estimates it will need $130 billion to build a better system, which is money the state simply does not have. Governor McCrory plans to fix this problem by integrating transit and economic development.

It’s a matter of time before we see if the Republican overhaul is what North Carolina needs in 2012 to fix these key problems.


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Other Important North Carolina Elections Explained

Although ultimately North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes went to Mitt Romney, the state did elect some other significant offices on November 6.  Let’s take a deeper look at other important races in the Tar Heel State:

Governor: Pat McCrory

Republican McCrory won significantly over Democrat Walter Dalton (54.68% to 43.16%).  McCrory will be NC’s first Republican governor in 20 years, and he attributes his win to his campaign running a positive-only campaign (although some outside groups ran negative ads for him).  McCrory’s win is a significant achievement for the GOP in North Carolina. Continue reading


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The Weed Issue

Washington and Colorado are making headlines this election because they passed legislation to legalize recreational use of marijuana for those 21 and over. North Carolina, however, does not look like it will be following suit any time soon.

Currently, the lowest penalty is a misdemeanor and maximum fine of $200 for a 1/2 oz or less of possession of marijuana for personal use. Click here for a handy chart of how the law can punish possessors of marijuana in the Tar Heel State.

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North Carolina: 1 Day To Go

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%.  Continue reading


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Last Minute Obama Campaigning in NC

Michelle Obama spoke at a rally today for her husband.  The rally took place at an airplane hangar and singer Mariah Carey lent some of her star quality to the event.

The First Lady sought to energize last minute undecided voters, saying, “I know many of you will be voting tomorrow…We are reaching out to voters who will keep this country moving forward for four more years.” She also reminded the audience “what we have to realize is that change is hard. We know life is hard. But if we keep fighting that good fight, we will get there. We always do…Elections are always about hope.” 

Obama also made a point that her husband won by around 5 votes per precinct in the 2008 election, further solidifying her point of the importance of voting this year.  Continue reading