David N. Bass notes that Bev Perdue’s decision not to seek a second term as Governor of North Carolina increases the likelihood of a Republican Governor being elected this November.
Well, if North Carolinians are motivated to vote for a Republican Governor chances are they will also be inclined to vote for a Republican President. Needless to say, this is not good news for President Obama.
Obama, of course, carried North Carolina in 2008. But the Tar Heel state has voted Republican in the previous seven presidential elections going back to 1980 and Obama knows this all too well. Why else would Obama single out a single mom who works in Charlotte, North Carolina in his SOTU address? It’s no accident the 2012 DNC Convention is in Charlotte.
Despite Jackie Bray’s good fortune, it is worth noting that hours before the SOTU address, North Carolina released it report stating that its unemployment rate for December 2011 was 9.9%. Let’s just say Governor Perdue’s “mission on jobs for North Carolina” leaves much to be desired. Although the unemployment rate fell by a tenth of a percent, it was in double digits the preceding five months and hasn’t fallen below 9.7% over the past twelve months.
Under those conditiions, President Obama faces an uphill battle in North Carolina but now with a hot gubernatorial race that climb just got a lot steeper. I can’t see North Carolina electing a Republican Governor and still voting for Obama.