Meanwhile, here's my top-of-the-head list of contributing causes (in addition to national issues like the economy, war, Bush): Excitement about Obama; Obama's field organization; energized youth and black votes; extended early voting period; changing demographics with an influx of suburban/white collar workers from elsewhere; Dole's absenteeism and strong ties to Bush; Jerry Meek's strong state party; tons of national money for the hard-working Hagan; loss of traditional industries, e.g. textiles and furniture; the fact that NC is a contrary place that was never Deep South (half of it seceded at bayonet point) and has been mostly Democratic in Raleigh through the GOP generation.
It was interesting to see incursions by Dems in regions far from the hotbed of transplant-driven change along the I85/I40 corridor, e.g. some mountain counties and NC8.
Not all of these factors can be duplicated on demand or transferred to other states.
Related: An end to the 50-state strategy? What a blunder that would be.