All Eyes on North Carolina

And not just on UNC hoops.  A consensus is emerging that the Tarheel State could be the decisive contest, according to Mark Halperin.  If Barack Obama wins, then the nomination is his; but if Hillary Clinton prevails, then the battle will drag on.

It’s the first time since 1976 that North Carolina will be in the national spotlight in the presidential nomination process, according to the Fayetteville Observer

“While Ford got the nomination, [Reagan‘s] Tar Heel victory saved [his] presidential aspirations for another day. Historians say Reagan would have left politics had he not won North Carolina.  That same year, the Old South, represented by segregationist icon George Wallace, and the New South of Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, clashed in the state’s Democratic primary. [Carter’s victory and Wallace’s loss] ended Wallace’s national political career.”

Will the 2008 contest put Clinton’s dogs to rest?

I think Obama has a distinct advantage based on both the percentage of African-Americans in the Democratic primary and the influx of independent voters, which are both constituencies that the Illinois senator has excelled with.  I’m posting a map of the black population below, and for analysis on independents in North Carolina read my National Journal article “Is North Carolina the New Virginia?

For her part, Clinton should do well in North Carolina’s western hills and hollows.  Politico‘s Jonathan Martin had a smart observation that “Clinton’s strength in the highlands is undeniable. Which is why she’ll do well in Pennsylvania on April 22 and then very well in West Virginia and Kentucky on May 13. And in between, she’ll probably win every county in North Carolina west of Winston-Salem and Charlotte (except possibly in Buncombe, home to bohemian Asheville).”

2004 North Carolina Electoral Map (CNN.com)

2004 North Carolina Electoral Map

African-American Population in North Carolina  (U.S. Demographics Visualizer)

More purple is more African-American.

African-American Population in North Carolina

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7 responses to “All Eyes on North Carolina

  1. Have you seen the latest Rasmussen poll?
    Check it out on my blog.

  2. I was born and raised in NC. There are a lot of good people here and most will not take kindly to the racist and hate filled speech of Jeremiah Wright. I just spoke to one of my best friends in Greensboro this morning. His skin color is a little darker than mine. He and his wife were appalled at the Wright sermons.

  3. Patrick Ottenhoff

    Citizenwells — in your regards to your first comment, could you provide a link to your blog or perhaps the poll results?

  4. goodtimepolitics

    I’m in the flat tobacco farm land area of North Carolina and talking to many of my friends that live near by, Obama will not get any of their votes. If Obama wants to talk racist I would love to talk to him about it, but he will have to come on down and sit under this big ole oak tree and have a class of Sweet Ice Tea while I tell him the differents in his mother and my mother. The two are not the same except their skin color…no way would my mother marry out side of her race, no way would my mother sit and listen to a pastor say the things Obama’s pastor did, no way would my mother curse her country or blame it for the aids that are killing whites and blacks alike. Obama, I will be waiting here rocking in this ole chair and watching up the road for you.

  5. Its unfortunate that the Democratic Party went the route of Carter instead of staying with Wallace. http://www.goodoleboybumperstickers.com

  6. Pingback: The Bellows » North Carolina

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