Thursday, July 19, 2012
From Tarheel Blue to Wolfpack Red: Mitt Will Win NC
The election season continues to be unpredictable, but there are a few things I'm sure about. First, Obama picks up no state that McCain won in 2008. Second, Romney wins and takes back Florida. And now, I predict Mitt Romney will win North Carolina in November!
In 2008, Barack Obama won North Carolina by a very close majority; barley half a percentage point. In winning, Obama won the "transplants" who had moved to the Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill), as well as in Charlotte. Furthermore, Obama received 95% of the African-American vote. Building on this coalition of Democrat voters will be tough and will not produce the same results. Like I did when I analyzed Florida, I will touch on people and issues, as well as Geographic regions that will bring about a change from blue to red in 2012.
Pat McCrory: The very popular former Charlotte Mayor is again running for Governor. The current governor, Bev Perdue, has had a disastrous four years in office, deciding not to run again, knowing she'd lose this time around. Unemployment in North Carolina soared and is the 4th highest in the United States. Perdue's administration and party have faced negative coverage from a pending scandal. Also, what came out of her mouth made her a laughing stock around the country. McCrory is campaigning on attracting business to return to North Carolina, which will lower the unemployment rate in the Tarheel State. Let us not forget that Charlotte is known for the banking industry and McCrory knows something about creating jobs in the Queen City during his time as mayor. Furthermore, he is tying his opponent, the Lieutenant Governor, to his inept boss and to Obama that they all endorse the same policies that are not in the best interest of North Carolinians. A McCrory win will help up the ticket, as voters will have more incentive to not only get out and vote, but vote Republican up the ticket, securing more votes for Mitt Romney.
The Gay Marriage Issue: On Presidential Primary Day, North Carolina voted against the Gay Marriage Amendment. In response, Democrats slammed the state, the state where they need to get votes, mocked their citizens and even pondered pulling the DNC out of Charlotte. In sicking the media on the voters of the Tarheel State, voters, especially some African-American voters, will be soured by this treatment, and aware of the president's new found position on gay marriage, may not be supporting him this time around. Furthermore, it will galvanize Conservatives who may have stayed home in 2008, especially in rural North Carolina, to vote for Mitt Romney in 2012. The president's reaction to the gay marriage issue and North Carolina's vote on its legality could very well be the cause of a loss in the state by Obama!
Congressional Delegation: In 2010, North Carolina had one Republican net gain in the Midterms with Renee Ellmers defeating Bob Etheridge, the Congressman who likes to assault students, and because of his position, was able to get away with it. In 2012, Democrats from the 11th and 13th Congressional Districts chose not to run for re-election, in districts more favorable to Republicans, allowing two net gains in the delegation, which, like the gubernatorial race, can benefit Mitt Romney further up the ticket.
In addition to the various figures and issues that will help, an examination of the regions of North Carolina further lead me to believe that North Carolina will be a Republican State in 2012. Western North Carolina will stay consistent in leaning Republican, and will also gain votes to those Conservatives who sat out 2008 because of their issues with McCain. In the Northeastern part of the state, Obama will lose some African-American support as a result of his gay marriage stance and the high African-American unemployment rate. They may not vote for Romney, but they will stay home, which is an indirect vote for Romney, and Obama needs every African-American vote he could get.
The region that carried the state in 2008 for Obama is the I-85 Corridor. This highway cuts across the state and through two major regions: The Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) and Charlotte. These most populated areas of North Carolina went Democrat in 2008 because of students (the Research Triangle is the home of Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State and Wake Forest) and transplanted voters contributing to the coalition. Four years later, the president is not going to have the majority of the students supporting him because they can't find jobs, and many other voters in the region are turned off by Obama's failure to deliver on the promises he made in 2008. In Charlotte, Obama did well in 2008, but not in the rest of Mecklenberg County; the Charlotte suburbs. Legislation like Dodd-Frank have beat up the banking industry, Charlotte's largest, the second largest in the US, as has Obama's rhetoric. Those voters will clearly be Romney supporters in 2012, joining the suburban voters in supporting the Republican. The voting pattern changes from 2008 to 2012 in Mecklenberg County and the Research Triangle will be enough to change the state from blue to red!
Even though the Democrats are holding the DNC in Charlotte and have made a push to win the 15 electoral votes of the Tarheel State again, Republicans in the state are committed and have a very strong resolve, as I observed last weekend, with the approach of November 6. Therefore, with the influence of the Gubernatorial and Congressional elections, as well as the gay marriage issue and the change of voting patterns in Charlotte and the Research Triangle, North Carolina joins Florida in being a once blue state that becomes a Red State in 2012!