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« Right place at the right time | Main | Reality based governance »

Nov 08, 2008


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John Burns

He was the first person I thought of when we went blue.

He would have abandoned the state, McCain would have carried it and McCrory and Dole would have won.

I hope he will revisit, and repudiate, his earlier hogwash.

Jim Buie

The biggest single factor was early voting, and the organized campaign to get Obama voters to the polls early. He lost votes on election day, but won in early voting, and the overall turnout in NC was an amazing 69%.

If there is a single individual who is responsible for this radical shift, it is probably Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina, who worked so hard to enact early voting reforms in the state. Congratulations to Bob and to the entire, burgeoning NC progressive movement. More here.

Since Obama won by only 12,000 votes in the state, I'd say all of us who lent our votes, our voices, our blogs, our emails, our time or our money had an impact. This victory is surely evidence that one person can make a difference.


"Ted," didn't you forget Rick Gunn? Maybe as Hugh Webster's running mate.

Kirk Ross

A lot of groundwork was done in the 06 election, especially in the mountain counties. Shuler's race and a couple of key state senate races pumped money and interest into GOTV out west. The Dems also did a great job of rebranding the party (remember the burma shave types signs).
But the work done in 06 couldn't have brought the state home for the Dems in 08 on its own. The Obama groundcrews, the social networking masterwork and, as Jim said, effectively using early voting and same day registration was the difference.
That strategy meshed with the demographic flow of the state. There were not enough votes in GOP regions of strength to counter new registrations and turnout increases in Dem regions.
My guess is think professor Schaller and others may conclude:
a. The GOP coalition fell apart
b. A lot more North Carolinians showed up to the polls willing to vote their own economic self-interest.


I disagree with Schaller's basic thesis, but will bet some of his response will include: Obama is a special candidate, 2008 was a unique circumstance, and NC & VA are different than AL & MS. I don't think Hillary would have won NC, because she wsa not as energizing, her organizational 'ground game' was not as strong, and she did not seem to have the fundraising strength of Obama. The difference between Schaller & Obama's approaches are top-down vs. bottom up. A lot of the effort for Obama in NC would not have been transferrable to other states. It could also be argued that Obama was able to win NC because he developed such a large lead overall lead.

Schaller will probably also say that of course it makes sense for Obama to spend more money in NC than AL, but that wasn't his argument. It was you can't win in NC, so you might as well 'write it off'.

A couple things though: Obama did better in SC than McCain did in PA, and did almost as well in GA as McCain did in OH. Republicans have as much business giving up on OH or PA as Democrats do in SC or GA. The down-race effect also needs to be considered.


"Good people like Robin Hayes, Charles Taylor, Carl Mumpower, Hugh Webster, Vernon Robinson, Jim Snyder, and especially Fern Shubert are the shining stars in the party."

Let's hope.


One other factor you all are forgetting are the 8 total visits that Obama himself made to North Carolina. There is no question that volunteers here felt energized and motivated by his continual presence in the state. This despite the fact that some local bloggers wrote Obama off in NC right after he won the nomination. From the moment the campaign started in earnest, Obama said he intended to get NC in play. I never doubted it for a minute, although some of you here frequently did.



You say But, you cannot deny the fact that the Democrats did run on an anti-Jesus platform.

What is an anti-Jesus platform ?

FWIW, I'm an independent.


Here's an oldie but a goodie from May 11th where Sam said NC going blue was "wishful thinking" on my part. The noteworty bit:

"I think you will see a lot of ticket switching, but the idea that NC will go blue in the presidential race and in the Senate race is wishful thinking by Democrats.

The idea that Dole has done nothing will be counteracted by Dole herself when she dumps millions of dollars in advertising on Hagan highlighting what she has done- whether you believe it or not.

It will be a big year for Democrats, but not so much in North Carolina where the state government Democrats are unpopular because of the scandals, Dole has too much money to dump on Hagan, and McCain will appeal to a lot of moderate and conservative Democrats."


If NC ever finds itself in the hands of people like Shays, the legislature better at least triple the amount of tax relief and other gravy its willing to spend to entice employers to build here, 'cuz their employees will want nothing to do with the place.


Umm... make that "Hayes".


Wishes do sometimes come true...a lot of work helps. Sam's opinions are less important to Democrats because he was never going to work for Obama anyway. Schaller is a democratic strategist and his focus on the few 'swing states' is part of why Kissell didn't get as much help in 2006.


If the straight party ticket was as prominent as it was in Guilford County,the straight party ticket did the GOP in here are the Guilford results

Straight Party ticket
Democratic 65.12% , 91,765
Republican 34.19% 48,179

around a 43,000 vote difference in how the parties voted

Here is the totals of North Carolina Straight Party Ticket
Democratic 58.86% with 1,264,076
Republicans 40.27% 864,907

So the democratic party had 400,000 more people vote straight party ticket and Pat Mccrory only lost to Bev Perdue by 140,551. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that straight party ticket doomed the GOP in North Carolina.


"So the democratic party had 400,000 more people vote straight party ticket and Pat Mccrory only lost to Bev Perdue by 140,551. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that straight party ticket doomed the GOP in North Carolina."

One of the side benefits of having Obama on the ballot even if straight party tickets didn't actually select the candidate for President in NC. No doubts about it.

Duke of Denton

The Bush Rapture Mothership will be leaving soon. Everyone who paid for a window seat will be waving at you godless sons and daughters of the Obamanation as they take off to meet with the Baby Rambo Jesus in the sky...you are the new axis of evil since every Muslim has given his porkfat-free heart to the BRJ. Braize the lard, let us prey and let freedom reign. I am the Duke of Denton and I approved this message.

Ian McDowell

"Ron Gumby"? Nice one, Timbo.

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