Thursday, June 12, 2008

 

What the devil is going on in North Carolina?

A state that for the longest time during the primary season seemed to be Obamanation... then Wright hit and we held the phone only to see Obama triumph. Now, in the general election, we have a state that is shaping up to be as interesting if not more so than New Hampshire (a Gubernatorial, Senatorial, and Presidential race).

The Senate race is between incumbent Liz Dole and challenger Kay Hagan. Hagan came out of her primary in a surprisingly strong position... but Dole has run some positive ads in the state and her lead in a recent Rasmussen poll has increased to double digits (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_senate_elections/north_carolina/election_2008_north_carolina_senate). Truth be told is that Dole will most likely win when it comes down to it... favorable ratings too high in what can at least be deemed as a leaning conservative state.

The Governors race is between Dem Bev Perdue and Repub Patrick McCrory. Polls are very tight.... but recent polls suggest that Perdue (the Lt. Gov) is the slight favorite.

But to what I want to get to... the Presidential race. A Rasmussen Poll (http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/north_carolina/election_2008_north_carolina_presidential_election) has McCain up by 2 (45-43) with other (that being Libertarian Bob Barr) gaining six percent. Around this same time in 2000, Bush led by about 5 to 7 points (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Presidential_04/nc_polls.html). He ended up winning by about 12 points. So, we'll McCain probably win the state.... yes.

But we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss Obama. The state has a significant (nearly a quarter) African American population, which is sure to come out to vote. Two, Obama's favorables and unfavorables are both around 50%. Obama's merely going to have to win those who view him favorably. This is especially true with Barr (who will in the end probably win 2-4 points) in the race. In other words, Obama must only get to about 48%. Three the state knows Obama due to the primary. He runs in a much better position than Kerry did in terms of neighbor angle (I know you). Four, its a Democratic year.

The demographics favor McCain (the baseline regression at Fivethirtyeight has him favored to win by more than 7%)... but hey, as I always say.... politics ain't stagnant.

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