NC Political History in the Making: A Republican Governor, Republican Senate, Republican House of Representatives

by johndavis, May 14, 2012

NC Political History in the Making: A Republican Governor, Republican Senate, Republican House of Representatives Forecast: North Carolina will soon be taken off most “Swing States” lists and relabeled “Leaning Romney.” Obama will redirect NC resources to greener pastures. Post: Monday, May 14, 2012       Vol. V, No. 16      3:13 pm Democratic Leadership Collapse; Republican
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NC Political History in the Making: A Republican Governor, Republican Senate, Republican House of Representatives

Forecast: North Carolina will soon be taken off most “Swing States” lists and relabeled “Leaning Romney.” Obama will redirect NC resources to greener pastures.

Post: Monday, May 14, 2012       Vol. V, No. 16      3:13 pm

Democratic Leadership Collapse; Republican Leadership Emergence

Forecast: A historic first North Carolina Republican Governor, Republican Senate, and a Republican House of Representatives.

The collapse of the strong leadership infrastructure of the North Carolina Democratic Party during the past 10 years and the concurrent building of a strong leadership infrastructure of the North Carolina Republican Party argue for a new era of GOP dominance in the Old North State.

Strong leadership is essential for a winning political organization.  Without strong leaders, party factions will turn on each other rather than stand united against the opposition.

After decades of exemplary leadership, today’s Democratic Party is in shambles:

  • Governor Perdue is so weak that she can’t help herself or any other Democrat win another term; she can’t stop Republicans from overriding her vetoes; she can’t get her job approval numbers out of the mid-30s; and she can’t stop the party Executive Committee from keeping the embattled state party chairman after she called for his resignation.
  • Perdue’s predecessor, Gov. Easley, was so indifferent to the Democratic Party that he didn’t go to the state or national conventions … or speak to the NAACP state convention.
  • Democrats have lost the decisive influence of Eastern NC because they do not have an Eastern NC candidate in the governor’s race like they’ve had for decades: Jim Hunt, D-Wilson; Mike Easley, D-Brunswick; Beverly Perdue, D-Craven.
  • Eastern NC Christian social conservative Democrats, black and white, are disappointed with the party leadership’s stand against Amendment One (Obama, Perdue, Dalton).
  • Eastern NC Democratic influence in the General Assembly collapsed with the end of the era of Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, D-Dare, and with the resignation of Majority Leader Sen. Tony Rand, D-Cumberland.  Contributing to the decline was the retirement of powerful insiders like Sen. R.C. Soles, D-Columbus, President of the Senate Caucus; Charlie Albertson, D-Duplin, Agriculture Committee Chairman; and with the loss of Appropriations Committee Co-Chair A.B. Swindell (D-Nash).

Furthermore, Democrats have been rocked by an era of scandal including former party leaders like Gov. Easley, Speaker Black, Agriculture Commissioner Phipps, U.S. Rep. Frank Balance, Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards, Sen. R.C. Soles, Rep. Thomas Wright, and numerous members of the staffs and campaign teams of governor’s Easley and Perdue.

North Carolina No Longer a Swing State; Obama Likely to Pull Out

Forecast: North Carolina will soon be taken off most “Swing States” lists and relabeled “Leaning Romney.” Obama will redirect NC resources to greener pastures.

How could the Obama political organization misread North Carolina so badly?

  • Obama won by 14,179 votes out of 4,310,623 cast in 2008.
  • Obama won because President Bush had a job approval of 25%.
  • Obama won because McCain was feared as a third Bush term.
  • Obama won because the GOP took the state for granted.
  • Obama won because he had the surprise factor (no one saw it coming).
  • Obama won because he beat the GOP with registration and early voting turnout.

The big mistake the Obama camp made was in thinking that Obama carried North Carolina because he was a Democrat or because he was progressive or because he was charismatic.  Wrong.  He was the only other option on the ballot at a time when voters had lost trust in the Republican leaders and their ideas.

The North Carolina Democratic Party was already in freefall without the help of President Obama.  With the help of Obama in 2010, Democrats suffered the greatest losses since 1896.

  • Since 2010, Democrats have lost the majority party/majority district status in NC.  And, they no longer have the leverage of political power to gain a fundraising advantage.
  • Since 2010, Republicans have gained the leverage of power for a fundraising edge AND 30 Senate districts likely to elect a Republican to only 18 for the Democrats.  Republicans only need 26 to keep their majority in the Senate.  There are 70 GOP-friendly House districts to only 42 for the Democrats.  Republicans need 61 to keep their majority.
  • The Republican advantage in the 13 congressional districts has grown from 7 to 10.

The lack of strong Democratic leaders in North Carolina gives the Obama camp no other choice but to begin to discretely redirect the campaign’s North Carolina resources to greener pastures.

Republican Leaders Strengthen; GOP Base Solidifies Over Amendment One

Concurrent with the collapse of the strong leadership infrastructure of the North Carolina Democratic Party has been the rise a strong leadership infrastructure of the North Carolina Republican Party.  Those who led the successful battle in 2010, like Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger from Eden and Majority Leader Harry Brown from Jacksonville, along with Speaker Thom Tillis from Huntersville and Majority Leader Skip Stam from Apex on the House side, now wield the political power over the state budget.

Legislative leaders, along with party chairman Robin Hayes and an exceptionally talented team of political professionals, are the new best and brightest in North Carolina political circles.

In the past, disunity has kept Republicans in North Carolina from taking advantage of opportunities.  The 61% to 39% rout on the Amendment One campaign was a galvanizing experience for state Republicans, leading to my analysis in The News & Observer May 9:

At a time of economic crisis it was politically risky for Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly to initiate a statewide constitutional vote on a social issue like the Marriage Amendment.  However, thanks to their landslide victory on May 8, the state GOP will now enjoy a win-win of the highest order.  They win the loyalty and enthusiastic support of their elated social and religious conservatives, and they neutralized the issue as fodder for Democrats in the General Election.  By this fall, the Marriage Amendment controversy will be old news to just about everyone except those elated social and religions conservatives.  Their victory will continue to motivate them all year to do the hard work of winning campaigns for conservatives.

Strong Republican leadership and unity and a time of weak Democratic leadership and disunity is what leads me to forecast a historic first North Carolina Republican Governor, Republican Senate, and a Republican House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

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