Choosing North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention is looking more and more like a massive misstep on the part of the Obama campaign. The state Democratic Party has faced a lugubrious sexual harassment scandal, on top of the incumbent Democratic governor, Bev Perdue, remaining too unpopular to seek a second term. Add to that the overwhelming vote on Tuesday to pass a marriage amendment — 61 percent in favor to 39 percent against — and the picture becomes even worse.
As in other states, the marriage amendment vote cut across party lines. In fact, the divide was more along rural vs. urban than Democrat vs. Republican.
Out of North Carolina’s 100 counties, only 7 voted to oppose the marriage amendment. Of those seven, only four did so by a margin of 5,000 votes or more. The anti-amendment votes were concentrated in the most populous urban areas that also happen to have major universities — the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, Charlotte, Asheville, and Wilmington.
Even the most optimistic supporters of the amendment thought that a 60-percent margin of victory would be a major surprise. Sixty-one percent was a home run.
It’s little wonder, then, that Obama chose to scuttle a trip to Asheville the day of the vote.