By Chris McClure
Executive Director, North Carolina Republican Party
It is appropriate that the first post on our new “Seeing Red Again” blog would address the ongoing controversy on whether or not North Carolina is in play for the fall. With leaders like John McCain, Elizabeth Dole, and Pat McCrory at the top of our ticket, I believe we will see North Carolina remain a red state this November. Republicans also have an opportunity to take more seats on the Council of State and in the General Assembly. We have the strongest ticket from top to bottom as we have had in a very long time. However, we shouldn’t just stop with hype but we should actually study the numbers.
According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, in November 2004, there were 2,582,462 Democrats in North Carolina. There were 1,903,119 Republicans at that time and 1,021,648 Independent voters. As of today, there are 2,634,388 Democrats in North Carolina, 1,933,148 Republicans and 1,245,477 Independents. That means there are 51,926 more Democrats now than there were in 2004. There are 30,029 more Republicans and 223,829 more Independents.
In the 2004 election, President Bush received 1,961,166 votes statewide in North Carolina. John Kerry received 1,525,849 votes. In this year’s Democrat Presidential Preference Primary, there were 1,580,726 Democrats and/or Independents who cast a ballot. 887,391 of those votes went to Barack Obama.
For Barack Obama to win North Carolina in November, he would need to not only carry those who voted for him in the primary. He would need to win all of those Democrats who voted for someone else in the primary. Even adding to John Kerry’s total in 2004 the 51,926 new Democrat registrants, Obama would not be close to President Bush’s 2004 total. He would not reach President Bush’s total even if every single Independent who has registered since 2004 voted for Obama as well. Even with all of those inflated numbers, Obama would still be 100,000 votes short of President Bush’s total.
Some may make the claim that a portion of Bush Republicans will not vote for John McCain. Personally, I find that unlikely. At any rate, there are just as many if not more Clinton Democrats who have already indicated that they will refuse to vote for Obama in November. Under the only calculus that makes any difference, actual voting statistics, there is not evidence that Barack Obama can win North Carolina. Any way you calculate the numbers, they just aren’t there for Obama winning North Carolina. Believe the numbers, not the hype. We will carry this state. We will see red again this November.