NC-Gov: What If Bev Perdue Didn’t Run for Re-election?

North Carolina’s incumbent Democratic governor, Bev Perdue, swept into office in 2008 by the narrowest of margins, undoubtedly propelled by the unusual level of enthusiasm for Barack Obama at the top of the ticket. Almost ever since then, though, her poll numbers have been poor, and in head-to-heads with likely rematch opponent Pat McCrory (the former mayor of Charlotte), she’s usually trailed by double digits:

All the data points in the above graph are from PPP, but they were confirmed by a recent SurveyUSA poll (PDF) for the Civitas Institute. At least a couple of Democrats last cycle who couldn’t escape numbers like this bailed rather than seek re-election – Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut for one, and Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado for another. In both cases, they were replaced by more popular candidates (Dick Blumenthal and John Hickenlooper, respectively) who went on to win handily.

Both Ritter and Dodd didn’t announce their retirements until January 2010, so perhaps we’re a bit early in asking this question. But at SSP, we’re always trying to stay ahead of the curve, so I’m putting these questions to all of you: Do you think Perdue could be persuaded not to seek a second term? Do you think she should be? And if she could be prevailed upon not to run again, who could take her place for Team Blue?

UPDATE: Now with poll! I went through the comments and pulled out every plausible name suggested, so go ahead and vote for your favorite. (The poll includes the incumbent.)

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

NC-Gov: What If Bev Perdue Didn’t Run for Re-election?

North Carolina’s incumbent Democratic governor, Bev Perdue, swept into office in 2008 by the narrowest of margins, undoubtedly propelled by the unusual level of enthusiasm for Barack Obama at the top of the ticket. Almost ever since then, though, her poll numbers have been poor, and in head-to-heads with likely rematch opponent Pat McCrory (the former mayor of Charlotte), she’s usually trailed by double digits:

All the data points in the above graph are from PPP, but they were confirmed by a recent SurveyUSA poll (PDF) for the Civitas Institute. At least a couple of Democrats last cycle who couldn’t escape numbers like this bailed rather than seek re-election – Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut for one, and Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado for another. In both cases, they were replaced by more popular candidates (Dick Blumenthal and John Hickenlooper, respectively) who went on to win handily.

Both Ritter and Dodd didn’t announce their retirements until January 2010, so perhaps we’re a bit early in asking this question. But at SSP, we’re always trying to stay ahead of the curve, so I’m putting these questions to all of you: Do you think Perdue could be persuaded not to seek a second term? Do you think she should be? And if she could be prevailed upon not to run again, who could take her place for Team Blue?

138 thoughts on “NC-Gov: What If Bev Perdue Didn’t Run for Re-election?”

  1. Between Brad Miller and David Price, whoever loses that redistricting battle.  (Rooting for Miller to win.)

    1. make a move sometime. 2012 may be too soon, but the guy’s got a bright future. He’s been a very good mayor so far and has really consolidated his popularity in Charlotte.

      That said, I think people are writing Perdue’s grave too soon. She was trailing most of the campaign last time as well. High turnout among Democratic groups and her own strengths in Eastern NC helped her squeak out. I think she can pull in close to McCrory, especially if he takes the election for granted.  

      1. about messaging.  Her PR people are not worth what they’re getting paid as far as I’m concerned.  They botched this Kentucky trip during the storm and she ought to let them go.

        You’re also correct about perception and likability.  It’s unfortunate but at least Easley has not been in the news for months since his plea/”trial.”  

        I still think she can pull this out.  Right now, according to PPP’s latest, she’s only getting 64% of Dems with 13% undecided and 23% GOP.  That will only improve.

        There are tons of things the legislature has done to rile up the Democratic base – if their story can be told.  

    2. Virginia and North Carolina are neighboring states, one has Janet Howell and the other has Janet Cowell?

      Does South Carolina have a Janet Powell or something?

      1. Because Democrats are more geographically concentrated than Republicans, the only way for them to get a majority is to win a bunch of seats that are hard to defend. It’s not often that you luck into a Peterson or Rahall who can easily hold down a tough seat indefinitely. That said, I think the big mouth point is relevant, and in a triage situation I could see putting Shuler behind people who break ranks as much as he does but don’t talk as much (Owens, Barrow, McIntyre, Matheson, etc).  

  2. If she does this early, it makes her a total lame duck.  She already is, but she remains relevant by vetoing the NC GOP’s agenda.

  3. my initial thought is that another candidate could make this competitive, but McCrory is still the favorite. With the DNC coming to town next summer, I think large scale demonstrations and Tea Party protests will probably outweigh whatever registration advantage the convention brings to down ticket races. North Carolina hasn’t had a Republican governor since James Martin left in 1993, and has only had two overall since Reconstruction. In fact, it was amazing Perdue pulled this out in ’08 given Mike Easley’s low popularity.  

    1. her district will get made way more Republican. It’s just I don’t feel like Price and Miller will be targeted. Heath Schuler will have a tougher time, and Kissell will be dismantled, (though the likely effect is that McIntyre’s district becomes slightly more Democratic by taking in Fayeteville and some other Democratic leaning areas at the base of Kissell’s district).  

  4. The Democrats have a strong bench in North Carolina. I’d like to see three-term AG Roy Cooper step up. Cooper passed on Liddy Dole in 2008 and Richard Burr in 2010. Potential issues for Cooper are the SBI investigation and the Duke lacrosse scandal.

    Regarding Price/Miller, they’re both too liberal for state-wide appeal. Kay Hagan was a political unknown from the General Assembly in 2008, but Price/Miller have long voting records representing the most liberal, non-VRA parts of the state — indeed some of the most liberal, non-VRA parts of the entire South.

    Remember, Dems have held the Governor’s Mansion in Raleigh since Jim Hunt’s third term began in 1993 — a very long lease. Hunt and Mike Easley benefited from a weak, disorganized NC GOP and generally moderate, pro-business positions. Perdue is cut from the same cloth as her predecessors, but she has a likability problem.

    Out-going Raleigh Mayor Chuck Meeker is a possibility, but he may also be too liberal for the state. Meeker’s wife, Anne McLauren, serves on the Wake County Board of Education — a body that has attracted tremendous national controversy regarding the school district’s abandonment of a well-regarded diversity policy.

    To DavidNYC’s point, she should not run again. But Perdue should wait to announce in Spring 2012 to keep the General Assembly guessing.

    1. Every poll I saw had her trailing by, at most, high single digits. That, however, was fairly early in the cycle and she gained ground with time.

  5. I do think it might be a good idea for her to consider stepping aside. I really think she rode Obama and Hagan’s coattails to victory in ’08, maybe she could try to replicate that, but I really doubt it. Roy Cooper would probably be the best get. What about Larry Kissell if he gets redistricted into oblivion?  

  6. I think Roy Cooper could totally win if he has decent favorables, I need to head to class though, so I cant really look them up, I’m going to guess that PPP has them SOMEWHERE, they poll the state so often.

    1. Oddly enough, on that list of top 10 most at-risk Dems, Miller was mentioned and Shuler is not.

      Wouldn’t Miller be easier to target?  All they gotta do is cut off his branch to Raleigh.

    2. by the wave. Odds are she’ll be defeated next year, either by a Democrat or a more competent Republican in the primary.

  7. But if she can’t turn it around by early next year then maybe it would be best to step aside if somebody like Cooper is interested.

  8. Bev has really done a much better job fighting the GOP legislature this session than she did before with a Democratic legislature.  I think alot of her polling low comes from not having the Democratic base shored up.  They will come around.

    Cooper has had his own troubles with the SBI and its Crime Lab but those might be issues only within the Raleigh area.  It’s amazing what news stays in the capital area and what ventures out to the hinterlands.  

    I did not used to be a Bev supporter (in the primary) but I’ve come around.  She’s had dozens and dozens of jobs announcements, great vetoes and really shown a spine.  Her biggest problem is the News and Observer – out to get any Democrat who’s considered part of the old guard.  They even tried to rehash a 1995 (or 97?) story about a single-car accident she was in and whether or not she got some kind of special treatment – all of it a farce because she has been cleared of anything multiple times over.  They bring these little things up constantly only to use whatever their issue-du-jour (‘scuse my french) is to lead into a summary of all the other issues from the past for the remainder of the article.  

    She’s starting to raise money again so I expect her to run.  Lt. Governor Walter Dalton clearly wants to be governor but would be old-ish if he waited for her.  But, they were allies before so I don’t imagine he’d primary her unless he thought this was his last chance and smelled blood in the water.  He’s out raising some decent money, too.

    Treasurer Janet Cowell is definitely a rising star and is untouched by anything scandalous or unethical.  I don’t think any other statewide official or congressperson could or would run and win.

  9. As for replacements, our best hope is undoubtedly AG Roy Cooper.  In 2008 he received the highest number of votes ever for a candidate in NC (though not highest %).  He could have potential problems with the SBI though that have not been made public.

    After Cooper our next best candidates are probably Shuler and shudder Mike McIntyre since they have pretty strong crossover appeal in key areas of the state and they both could be redistricting victims.

    Brad Miller or someone else of that background would be a terrible candidate because they can be tarred and feathered as party line liberals and would have little crossover appeal to indies and conservative Dems in eastern NC.

  10. http://publicpolicypolling.blo

    Attorney General Roy Cooper, Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton, and state senator Dan Blue were all tested.  Cooper “only” trails McCrory 43-35.  From there it’s all very downhill.  

    I guess we should try getting Cooper in since his deficit, while bad, isn’t insurmountable.  

  11. I don’t know anyone, Republican or Democrat, back in North Carolina that likes her. She carries some of the stink that Easley left in the Capitol when he left, and she is generally viewed as ineffective and inept.

    It does seem though that, barring a scandal, McCrory is a huge favorite for this seat, almost a mea culpa from Independents for his loss in 2008. Roy Cooper is definitely the best get, but the question is this: is he wasted in a race like this? The argument for his entry would be that he can raise his profile for a future effort. Brad Miller would be intriguing as well, and I still don’t know while Cal Cunningham failed so badly in last year’s primary. He could be worth another shot.

  12. He’ll probably get screwed over after redistricting. He might be thinking of running statewide anyway instead of staying in Congress. He’s a great campaigner.

  13. As a NC resident who watches things pretty closely here, I have a good feeling that Perdue will rebound by 2012.  I blame much of her unpopularity on the bad economy that she inherited when she started her term, a problem that has affected governors all over the country.  It may have been an even bigger problem for her because she won with such a small percentage in 2008.

    But as we move away from the economic woes of 2009 and 2010, most of the state’s focus is shifting to the battle between Perdue and the conservatives who took over the state legislature.  The conservatives here are pushing the same agenda that they have been all over the country – spending cuts on education and other programs, tax cuts for the rich, etc.  The more people learn about what the conservatives are doing, the more people start to like that Perdue is standing up to them.  It should be pretty simple for Perdue to position herself as the voice of reason and a “check and balance” against the conservatives in the 2012 race.  If McCrory gets elected, the GOP will basically have free reign to enact their whole agenda, and I don’t think that would go over very well.

    However, if Perdue does step aside, there are a ton of good Democratic candidates who could take her place, including:

    – 2008 primary loser and ex-Treasurer Richard Moore, who many thought would be a better general election candidate than Perdue

    – Long-time popular Attorney General Roy Cooper

    – Current treasurer Janet Cowell, a rising star

    – Congressmen Brad Miller, Larry Kissell, or Mike McIntyre if they are redistricting victims

    – Lt. Governor Walter Dalton

    – Promising 2010 Senate primary loser Cal Cunningham

    – Former Senate candidate, UNC President, and Debt Commission chairman Erskine Bowles

    – John Edwards … nah, just kidding.  But if it weren’t for the whole Rielle Hunter thing, he’d probably make a great governor.

    The bottom line is that whoever runs can basically run against the extreme positions that are being taken by the conservative legislature and serve as a safety net against the GOP agenda.  The high turnout due to the Presidential election will help too.  I feel good about the 2012 NC-Gov election.

  14. Who thinks that there isn’t a Dem in NC that can beat McCrory barring a meltdown.  I say let Perdue run, I don’t see a better choice to be honest.  

    I think ticket splitting will be the order of the day in NC, especially with a non-Southern candidate on teh GOP side.

    1. But then again, Kerry only won it 55-44, so even though it’s safe for Democrats, it’s not like it’s wasting votes in its current permutation.

  15. I have a feeling that a lot of Dems in NC are gonna be really disappointed with her in the next few months.  In an effort to appeal to Republicans, I expect her to note veto some important legislation including potentially the voter ID bill.  

    There really isn’t a democrat ready to step up and take the challenge.  If the seat comes up I would expect Bill Faison to run, he will probably be a redistricting victim but would also be a weak candidate and is fresh off a loss for state party chair.  I think Richard Moore burned too many bridges, Roy Cooper is involved in a minor scandal right now, and Walter Dalton is uninspiring at best.    

    There are four young “rising stars” in NC that in my opinion should pass on the race in 2012 because I don’t like their chances – Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, 2010 Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, State Treasurer Janet Cowell, and State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.  Of those Goodwin is definitely my favorite, he’s a dynamic speaker and I expect him to be governor one day.      

  16. I’m new to SSP, but here’s my stab at what will happen in the NC-Gov race and redistricting:

    1. Perdue will consolidate her base by opposing the Republican legislature and will be dead-even with McCrory next spring. She will not drop out of the race. Toss-up heading into Nov. 2012.

    2. There will be 2 heavy Democratic seats between Winston-Salem and Raleigh, but Price and Miller will definitely be drawn together. Republican state Senators hold a grudge against Miller for drawing himself a favorable NC-13 last time around. Pay back’s a bitch. Price will hold NC-4, Miller will look for other work (rumor is he’s already is looking for other work), NC-13 will be drawn as a majority-minority district.

    3. Shuler’s district will become more Republican, but it won’t be as bad as it could be for him. Republicans will resist the urge to raid Buncombe County with McHenry’s district (to dilute the Democratic precincts) and opt for a middle option: dropping Dem-leaning Rutherford County from NC-11 but adding GOP-leaning counties northeast of Buncombe.

    4. Mel Watt’s district will be drawn from Charlotte to Fayetteville (instead of Charlotte to Greensboro), gutting Kissell’s district and possibly dipping into McIntyre’s district too. Kissell will be a man without a district; McIntyre’s district will be more Republican.

    When the dust settles, the map will look like this:

    NC-1 – Safe Dem (Butterfield)

    NC-2 – Safe Rep (Ellmers)

    NC-3 – Safe Rep (Jones)

    NC-4 – Safe Dem (Price)

    NC-5 – Safe Rep (Foxx)

    NC-6 – Safe Rep (Coble)

    NC-7 – SWING, but more Republican than 2010 (McIntyre)

    NC-8 – Safe Rep (OPEN)

    NC-9 – Safe Rep (Myrick)

    NC-10 – Safe Rep (McHenry)

    NC-11 – SWING, but more Republican than 2010 (Shuler)

    NC-12 – Safe Dem (Watt)

    NC-13 – Safe Dem (OPEN)  

  17. I like Bev Perdue and I want her to stay as my Governor.  I’m also very cognizant that she’s trailing in the polls against McCrory, but I think she’s been holding her own against the Republican legislature.  I might be doing some “wishful thinking”, but I see this race tightening up in the next 12 months.  

    McCrory will not coast to the GOP nomination, either.  While I believe he will win the nomination, I wouldn’t be surprised if 3-5 other candidates come out of the woodworks to challenge him in the primary.  I doubt if the Teabaggers are in love with McCrory.  

  18. Yes the Obama campaign targeted NC but it’s not like Obama’s campaigned for her and dragged her over the finish line. You can even argue Hagan did the best of all three.  

  19. I live in SC and have followed NC politics closely since 1980.  NC is the #1 weather-vane, turn on a dime political state in the union, IMO.

    Whichever party wins the cycle wins NC.  

    I think the D nominee will win or lose regardless of the person.  It’s that kind of state.

    If Obama takes NC in 2012, Perdue will be re-elected and Hagen probably will to.

    As others have stated, I think the recession-racked economy generally is her biggest problem. Assuming the economy recovers by 11/2012, I think she rides that tide up.

    Perdue has brought a Sh*tload of GOOD PAYING jobs to the state, particularly Charlotte. I doubt there is a single Governor that can match her record relatively speaking.


  20. 1. Maybe – It would obviously take a critical mass to get the establishment to throw her under the bus and put their money and mouth behind someone else.

    2. Yes

    3. Some folks from the state lege who haven’t been named:

    – Josh Stein, Sen. Minority Whip who took over Cowell’s seat

    – Rick Glazier, House leader from Fayetteville area, vulnerable to redistricting

    – Grier Martin, Afgan War vet, rising star in the House (great ad he put out last cycle:

    Also, not sure when his gig managing the Race to the Top funds runs out, but Bob Etheridge is another possibility.

    Not endorsing anyone, just putting the names out there for discussion.

  21. Is there a trend of people who win closely fought elections (especially in wave years, but not necessarily) having lower approval ratings during their term? This wouldn’t really surprise me much if it was true, especially if the race was very closely contested. Could just mean they were either polarizing or just not that popular in the first place though.

    Franken in 2014 will be an interesting test case for this.

  22. I think Bev Perdue should run, and I think she can win. I think she should run because she has been a great governor and I really think she has the potential to appeal to independents and semi-Southern conservative Democrats in this state. Here is my take on the changing political landscape of North Carolina (this is all speculation, please tell me if you think I’m completely on the wrong track):

    1.) An older generation of ruralish, working class conservative Democrats have enabled the Democratic party to do well on the local level in the past. Southern Democrats have survived the last half-century here partly because racial polarization is not as strong as further south. Shuler, Kissel, and McIntyre are all in this mold and that is why they have survived and why there are still so many conservative Democrats in this state compared to other states. (Yes, their districts are pretty gerrymandered, but only that type of candidate would be able to wrangle up enough conservative Democrat votes to pull off the win. No other kind of Democrat could win their races.) Bev Perdue is also a part of this mold, but less so. She doesn’t actually have a very clear mold, and I think she’d be more popular if she did.

    2.) A younger generation of Democrats is becoming a strong force in the state, and they are mostly young people and highly educated, middle class adults in the urban areas who have moved here from other states. These are the folks that propelled Obama to his victory in North Carolina and Kay Hagan arguably also appeals most to this crowd.

    3.) The conservative Democrats turned on their party in 2010 on the state legislative level because they became disillusioned with the national direction of the party, embodied by Obama. Now that they’ve fully made the switch, I’m not sure they will go back. McCrory is the perfect candidate for these folks, which is to my mind the most compelling argument for why Perdue would lose–she’s lost her voter base. However, in some ways, she is the best candidate to face him because only she has any chance at all to peel off a few of those voters.

    With all that in mind, Obama can still win this state in 2012 because the growing NC liberal base who voted for him in 2008 will do so again and the conservative Democrats who balked in 2010 probably didn’t vote for him the first time around.

    McCrory is going to be a formidable opponent, and it is more likely that Perdue could lose this state than Obama largely because of him. However, if Perdue gets her act together, Obama’s strong push in 2012 for this state plus at least a marginal appeal to those former conservative Democrats might be able to sneak out a victory for her.

  23. One of them is toast thanks to redistricting (they’ll probably be drawn together, and there’s a chance the GOP will screw them both by drawing the district into Charlotte, Fayetteville, and/or Greensboro).

  24. I think he makes the most sense, if he’s a redistricting victim. Price is already 70, and might be looking to retire soon.

  25. don’t think Republicans can take out Miller and Price at the same time, while not weakening Virginia Foxx, Cobble and that woman who beat Etheridge, (too lazy to look up).  

  26. to take out both Miller and Price would mean having to disperse the Democrats in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill in such a way as to be geographically absurd, or in a way that would severely weaken Republicans in nearby seats, not of whom are entirely secure themselves.  That would be a moronmander (dummymander is too mild a word.) :)

    If I were the NC GOP, I’d basically create a vote sink centered on those three cities and tweak nearby counties to make them as strong as could be (which still would probably not be enough to ensure they remain Republican all decade.)  From what I’ve read, they say they want to respect city/county boundaries as much as possible, but doing so would mean a certain amount of political chance taking; Brad Miller could be weakened, but so might Renee Ellmers (who defeated Bob Etheridge.)

  27. Please, that’s arch-Republican territory. Democrats aren’t coming close to winning that in the forseeable future.

  28. in 2000. It’s simply an area that’s grown fast and represents some of the most rapidly trending Democratic territory in the state.  

  29. It was generally believed that the reason Cooper didn’t take on Burr was because he had his ultimate sights on the governor’s mansion.  However, this might not be a good year to try.  Even though I think Obama may very well carry the state again, McCrory has a lot of crossover and independent appeal due to his generally moderate image and will be very tough to beat.  The state has a long history of splitting its presidential and gubernatorial votes – this time they may just split the other way.

  30. and I completely disagree.  She and Easley couldn’t have liked each other less.  And, she’s been incredibly effective at dealing with the outsider GOP legislature and bringing in jobs.  

  31. I’m in NC, and I think she’s doing a good job fighting off the Republicans in the legislature. That veto pen is gonna win Bev some support.

  32. They can pack Price and Miller’s base together there, but nothing more.  And someone said that if Miller’s base is cut out, the district becomes a ruralish R+5 district.

  33. I meant that taking out either of them would be implausible while protecting the surrounding incumbents. David Price’s district is already a Democratic vote sink at this point, and Miller’s is rapidly trending Democratic and Obama got nearly 60% of the vote in it.

    Any map that tries to eliminate one of them is a dummbymander, period.  

  34. Young, former Raleigh City Councilwoman and State Senator.  Knows that raising money is how you win yet also willing to do the door-knocking side of things.  Won an open seat for Treasurer in ’08 defeating a self-funding Republican legislator.  She’s handled alot of the pension/investment issues well considering she could easily have been blamed for their falling value (what pension didn’t have falling value?)

    The legislature wants to move the State Health Plan from out of their control to her office, which is what everybody thinks is best policy-wise but I’m worried that she could then be saddled with whatever negative comes of having to raise rates.  The SHP has hundreds of thousands of government employees on it and stays in the news due to its financial troubles.

    She won’t run next year but she could be good down the line.

    Here’s her old ’08 website:


  35. I still feel Ellmers will be strengthened while Miller and Price are left alone. They do have to deal with Perdue’s veto pen do they not? Even if there’s some absurd law that makes a Gubernatorial veto of a redistricting plan ineffective, she can play hardball and make an agreement not to veto certain pieces of legislation in exchange for a compromise map.  

  36. Obama won it, and Bush only got 55 and 54%. It’s an area that’s been trending Democratic and seen a lot of population growth. I really don’t get where you’re coming from.  

  37. Roguemapper would know a ton as he is a skilled mapper AND a tarheeler with an ear to the ground.

  38. If they’re doing some ‘compact’ bs then they can have the 6th and 5th continue to swallow them and have the 13th take some, but then the 13th is somewhat at risk.  Alternatively they can have the 4th (Price) go from Durham to Greensboro and be as ugly as the current 12th.

    If they’re trying to maximize their floor then keeping the 12th about the way it is currently is the way to go, but they’ve stated they won’t do that.

  39. the fact that a large portion will still be anchored in Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Schuler can very easily be hit by giving him more heavily Republican counties, a bit of switching around. Probably won’t be enough to beat him, barring a 2010 environment, but still.  

  40. Perception is all that matters in politics. The fact that she was his LG and they served concurrently while he was having issues is enough for many low-information voters to be turned off. Perhaps she’s been a better governor than many believe. But she’s not doing a very good job at getting her message out there. A similar problem that Easley had, by the way.

  41. He leaves, that seat likely goes red and you’ll get someone who votes with the Dems 0% of the time instead of 60% of the time.

  42. if Kissell gets dumped into a Dem-heavy district with Mike McIntyre. It would be a lot safer for the Republicans to do that than to try and get rid of both of them (and protect Ellmers at the same time).

  43. It takes money to win and he’s no good at getting it.  I like the man alot but I’m concerned about his fundraising ability.  Same can be said for those who are pushing Miller, too.

  44. Like a bajillion times. I think everyone here understands what’s at stake between a “bad Dem” versus a Republican. What’s more, it’s not really relevant to a discussion of Perdue’s future. I think we can leave this one aside.

  45. But please not Erskine Bowles! He lost twice statewide, and he really loves to embrace right-wing ideas about fiscal and economic policy. (Look at his collaboration with Alan Simpson on the deficit commission – aka the cat food commission.) I think we can do a lot better than him.

  46. There is still time for her. But she needs to start her makeover sooner rather than later. I can’t imagine those 64% of Democrats are super enthusiastic. She will be helped by the convention in Charlotte and the 2012 cycle, but can’t rely on either of those.

  47. Erskine Bowles’ father, Hargrove “Skipper” Bowles, was on the wrong side of the GOP’s first NC gubernatorial win in the 20th century, in 1972.

    Whatever one thinks of the deficit/catfood commission, Erskine Bowles is probably better regarded in DC than NC.  I wonder how he managed to blow a lead in the 2004 Senate race in less than two months; it couldn’t have been all Bush coattails, could it?

  48. Mostly because he isn’t Bev Perdue.  He’s also pretty popular in the Charlotte area and he did wonders for that city’s public transportation.  Make no mistake about it, if Obama wasn’t on the ballot in 2008, McCrory would be the governor.  I would go so far as to say that if the election were held in 2006 instead of 2008, McCrory would be the governor.  

  49. NC isn’t that different from than other normal (not FL or NV) states so I think the grumpy mood gives them one person to blame, their governor.  Neither of their Senators is high profile enough to get blamed (whether they were on the ballot in 2012 or not).  

    Their congressional delegation didn’t change near as much (just Etherdige’s seat) as some other grumpy states in 2010 (PA, OH, WI, etc.).  They did flip both houses of the state leg, but I’m sure they’ll get a honeymoon in 2012.

    That leaves only the Governor.  Don’t get me wrong, even if Cooper were governor right now I’d still be worried.  A state that didn’t make hardly any changes in 2010 I see as very likely to make changes in 2012.

    I’d love to be proven wrong.  I actually thinkt eh economy will be cruising by election 2012 and unemployment still dropping, so it might just happen.  

    Also, I’m forgetful, why didn’t Cooper run for Guv in 2008.  In hindsight is seems like the perfect time if he had wanted it…

  50. Besides hurting their own electoral chances, any democrat who does not take every legal step in their power to stop these bills is an active accessory to voter suppression.

  51. But Obama will be on the ballot in 2012 and turnout will be high – advantage Perdue.

    McCrory did seem like the most moderate candidate in the 2008 GOP Governor field, and if he’s in favor of socialist marxist communist stuff like gasp public transportation, then I have to wonder what his chances in a GOP primary would be in 2012.  I wouldn’t be surprised at all if someone much further to the right than him were to win the primary, thereby easing the path for Perdue or another Democrat to win the general election.

  52. Its portion of Wake County is Republican. If it were a D sink, it wouldn’t be D+8, more like D+20 or thereabouts.

  53. Just remember she has to pick her battles and “Voter ID” is supported by 75% or more in many polls.  Now, there are many other bad things they want to do with elections (cutting early voting by a week, no Sunday voting, etc) that she could go after.  As someone who is always tarred and feathered over ethics, how would it look for her to say “no, elections don’t need to be safer?”  Please be assured I don’t see it that way but the general public probably will.

  54. will have the field cleared for him in the GOP primary.  He technically should have faced a runoff in 08 but the others backed off (he was at like 39.something%).

    I don’t think he’s well polished and could potentially slip up but its tough to base any election on that.

  55. this is not an important enough issue for independents that you’d make up the ground with them that you’d lose by disenfranchising democrats.

  56. Bowles is absolutely terrible as a candidate and on policy… he’d lose like Creigh Deeds in Virginia in 2009.

  57. Check out this Elon University poll from February:

    Voter identification, another signature GOP issue (link), seems to be more popular with those polled. Roughly 76 percent of those polled said they would support such a law and more than 89 percent said it would have no effect or increase their right to vote.

    And again, this poll from April where another Elon poll found 75% support including 86% of independents and 73% of Democrats:

    Here’s her statement on it from the linked Greenville Daily Reflector article:

    Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue said she wouldn’t automatically veto a more stringent voter ID law if approved by the General Assembly, saying it would depend on the details. Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt, D-Buncombe, said requiring an ID “can be used to suppress votes and we will be trying to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”

  58. I don’t actually take issue with Shuler’s voting record per se, and I’m generally sympathetic to sacman701’s argument regarding bad Dems vs. Republicans. That wasn’t really what I was talking about (and I know that’s something that shouldn’t be discussed).

    I think Shuler (along with maybe Mike Ross) presents a special case, in that, in addition to being conservative, he’s a total nuisance. His dumb whining to the national media about Obama, health care, and Pelosi are extremely harmful to our party and messaging strategy, so much so that I don’t think giving up his one shaky vote is all that much of a loss. I think his electability and personal qualities are infinitely more valuable to us in a gubernatorial capacity, where he can focus on state-level issues and not get in anyone’s way. The combination of those two things make me believe that he’s a particularly strong and useful governor candidate. Pelosi and Hoyer lose a constant thorn in their side, and we hold an important statewide office.

    So, in a weird (albeit, I’ll admit, unnecessarily snarky) way, I was saying that he’s a crappy congressman who’d make an okay replacement for Perdue.

  59. and the House is four votes short.  Our caucus has done a great job sticking together in stopping overrides.  The GOP pulled out a few tricks though and were able to reconsider the first override by shoving it into committee.  If at any time we’re not all there they can pull it out of a quick committee meeting and have the override pass.

    They also pulled another trick recently with regard to extending jobless benefits by tying a pre-emptive Continuing Resolution (in APRIL!) to it.  Thats absurd and she vetoed it and thus, those 37,000 people lost their benefits and the GOP shows no signs of backing off and splitting the two issues up.  

    So, unfortunately, they’re just as good at the legislative game as we are.  Thankfully Bev has not gotten much flack for vetoing it.

  60. but having NC-12 go from Charlotte to Cumberland or Robeson county makes absolutely no sense.  You won’t beat McIntyre and you leave a lot of heavily Democratic territory in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro that can’t all be swallowed by neighboring districts without weakening them substantially.  They’re much better off just combining Fayetteville and Robeson county into a vote sink to screw McIntyre and protect Kissell and Ellmers.  It’s impossible for them to hold all three of the 2nd, 7th, and 8th simultaneously.

  61. …that Miller is sticking it out and fighting for the seat, though his fundraising isn’t showing it.

  62. but no voter is going to go “hey, I really like this candidate’s position on the economy, but I’m gonna vote against them because of voter ID.”

    Have you ever organized a college campus? do you realize the decimating effect that these sorts of laws have on vote totals in these places?

  63. I agree.  There’s no way they can produce a non-vomit-inducing map and protect their own PLUS screw all of our white non-liberal Democrats.  It would be a ridiculous dummymander and they’ve proved themselves to be smarter than I initially gave them credit for (save for the few legislators who sponsored the anti-Sharia bill and the gold standard bill to name a few).

  64. How many 2010 GOP candidates were supposedly going to have the field cleared for them, only to eventually lose to teabaggers who were further to the right?  I don’t see why this couldn’t easily happen to McCrory too.

  65. 1. The Democratic voters in Winston and Greensboro will be in the new minority district, NC-13.

    2. The vast majority of the Democratic precincts in Mecklenburg will bill in NC-12, along with the heavier African-American portions of NC-8 stretching from Anson County to Cumberland County. I’ve drawn the map. A majority-minority district from Charlotte to Bladen is possible and would severely weaken McIntyre’s position and NC-7 and eliminate Kissell in NC-8.

    3. I was able to draw a 7-4 Republican map – with 2 GOP-leaning swing districts – by drawing 3 majority-minority districts (Butterfield, Watt, and a new one from Winston to Durham) and one liberal white district (Price). My map protects all Republican incumbents. If I can do it, you can bet that the GOP map-makers are going to do it.

  66. Kissel has too poor of fundraising and I think he’d get written off early on because of it, which then leads him to raising even less money because of the perception that he can’t fundraise.

  67. Yes I have campaigned to students on campus and I agree completely that its a horrible idea and unconstitutional on top of that.

    But I’m trying to look at it from her perspective.  Since she’s not Schweitzer with a cool branding tool and she’s already not liked – does she risk looking an obstructionist by vetoing everything, especially popular things?  Its just something to think about is all.

  68. our GOP is mostly smart.  They know what it takes to win statewide even if it hasn’t worked for them yet.  They know he can appeal to suburban folks and they see the polls.  Nobody else on their weak bench could do what he’s able to do polling wise.  They know they’d be foolish to go another route.

  69. She’s young, risen pretty quickly and held multiple offices already; I bet she views this as six years to day dream about when she is sworn into the Senate.  She looks perfect for 2016 and I’ll be watching her re-election this cycle then.  Two Dem women from NC may be a reality yet!

  70. They can easily draw 8-4-Shuler and then screw over Shuler by taking out Buncombe county if they want.  If you have NC-12 go from Charlotte to Cumberland/Robeson you leave too many Dem areas on the table to protect the surrounding R seats and you don’t even beat McIntyre!  So I don’t know why they would do that when they can have all their seats safe and leave a Dem vote sink in the southeast.

    Also, why on earth would they draw a majority-minority 13th?  The whole point is to flip it Republican and make David Price’s 4th a D+25 vote sink.  The only way to make a compact minority 13th would be to give up cracking the Triad and that has the effect of pulling a Dem district from Raleigh and giving it to Greensboro.  If they’re going for maximum ‘compactness’ then I can understand doing that, but if their goal is 8-4 and Shuler then it makes no sense because you give dems 4 safe districts, plus Mike McIntyre, plus the ability to flip another seat around Charlotte.

  71. I’m not sure about the law pending in North Carolina, but the one Walker’s pushing here doesn’t.

  72. There is no Senate race in NC in 2012, though a strong top of the ticket performance should help Dems save some vulnerable House seats, and pay dividends at the state legislative level as well.

  73. And indeed, one mistake some people often make is to conflate those who merely have weak voting records with those who are obnoxious about distancing themselves from the party. Shuler’s obviously in the latter category, whereas someone like Chet Edwards was almost saint-like in his ability to avoid such nonsense. (Ah, Chet. We miss you.)

    The reason why I didn’t think this was a discussion worth having was because I think sacman’s framing seemed like it would pave the way for a debate that was too simplistic, and that we have had many times before. (Not calling you out, buddy – I fire off quick-hit comments myself all the time, and I’m sure you have plenty more to say about Shuler. I just wanted to avoid a rehash.)

    But yes, I think if you take the appropriate view, what you’re really balancing are two choices. Here’s what you get in Column A:

    Shuler’s weak vote (semi-positive)

    Shuler’s big mouth (big negative)

    The prospect of having to prop up Shuler every two years because his district is so red (negative)

    And Column B:

    A truly awful Republican vote (negative)

    Shuler being taken off the national stage (positive)

    Shuler as probably a fairly decent gubernatorial candidate and maybe even a decent governor (positive)

    No more worrying about his district (positive)

    Basically, I think I re-stated what you said in sort of more equation format. Whether one thinks this would be a good move depends on how much weight you give to each item in the ledger. For me, this move nets out as positive for Dems, but if you place greater weight on the “vote” aspect, then you might reach a different conclusion.

    There’s of course also the wildcard that we could hold down this district with a less “thorny” Democrat, but that’s pretty speculative.

  74. A new minority district from Charlotte to Fayetteville can be drawn to gut McIntyre’s district AND Kissell’s district. Two Dem vote sinks are left in the Triad/Triangle, one is Price’s seat, the other is a minority district. Miller is drawn out of a seat, but NC-13 remains safe Dem (it’s the minority seat). The last safe Dem seat is Butterfield’s. This is a 9-4 map for the GOP protecting all 6 incumbents and flipping NC-7, NC-8, and NC-11.

  75. But I’m still not convinced that she (or Cal) had a good chance of pulling it off in ’10.

  76. But I guarantee it would have been closer if either one of them had been able to spend half what Burr did.  That being said, there’s probably no way either could have closed the gap of that last 5-6 points given the political environment.

  77. there’s probably no way either could have closed the gap of that last 5-6 points given the political environment.


  78. Every way I’ve tried to draw it you just couldn’t go from Charlotte to Fayetteville and not have tons of Dem voters left over which makes a couple of surrounding districts weak. Keep in mind the Obama numbers for southeastern NC are misleading, especially for someone like McIntyre.  And secondly, if you’re making the 13th maj-minority are you including all the black parts of Greensboro, Winston, High Point, and Durham?  And are you adding parts of Raleigh to the 1st?

  79. For NC-13, I included all of the black areas in Winston, Greensboro, High Point, and Durham.

    For NC-1, I dipped in to the black area of Wake and expanded into NC-7 territory in the SE.

    For NC-12, I snaked through Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Hoke, Robeson, Sampson, Bladen, and Cumberland. That pretty much blows up NC-7 and NC-8.

  80. to “pack” the African-Americans into the first.  I had to take it to either Durham or Wake to get enough to get it over 50% African-American plus get it to the population it needed.  It can’t really go any further south without losing compactness so I don’t see what other choice they have.  Taking it to the Triangle is the only thing they can do.  

  81. Bev has far exceeded my expectations. I didn’t vote for her in the primary, and barely managed to convince my own family to support her.

    Bev’s numbers will rebound with the economy and as her veto pen blocks the BS coming out of the General Assembly. The GOP is already over-reaching, and Bev is knocking them back in their place. They only need to pry 4 conservative Dems in the House to override her vetos, but have not managed a single one yet.

    Having Obama on top of the ballot will drive Dem turnout in 2012, although the GOP is up to their usual tricks in trying to stop brown people from voting with:

    1. Voter ID

    2. Reduced or eliminated early voting period

    3. Elimination of one-stop registration during early voting.

    I also expect to see a wad of red-meat constitutional amaendments on the 2012 ballot, since Bev can’t veto them. The GOP’s biggest problem is figuring out how to limit their dream wish list. I expect to see:

    1. A ban on gay marraige.

    2. Some screwy thing about eminent domain.

    3. Some screwy thing about guns or hunting.

    4. A cap on state spending.

    5. Elimination of publicly-funded campaigns for judges.

    6. Pick your favorite right wing topic here.

  82. The thing that has made me the most mad of all the terrible and maddening things the NC GOP has done in just a few months is their education bill. It’s not that I mind charter schools, in fact I think it’s great to have public schools where regulations are less strict and more experimentation is possible which could be used to reform our public education system. However, the problem is that charter schools have basically NO accountability and I have a problem with large numbers of NC children being educated without any oversight at all.

    Then the GOP gets elected and sets out to further destroy our education system. First they totally eliminate the cap on charter schools which was set at 100, so now charter schools where kids don’t learn will be popping up all around the state. And second, even worse, they reduced the minimum number of kids in a charter school from 75 to… wait for it… FOUR!!! Does four kids sound like a school to you? NO!

    And, they have taken more money out of public schools and given it to charter schools. Basically, charter “schools” are now eligible to receive funding for anything that a public school receives funding for. What this means for my local charter school is that they now get funding for transportation–but they don’t have a bus–and they get money from several special high school funds–but they don’t even have a high school division. This is money being taken from our real public schools and given to charter schools who don’t even use it on the delegated purpose.

    In combination, the new laws would mean that two moms who got angry at a single teacher at their local elementary school can pull their kids out and become a charter school. Then they can “educate” their kids without being accountable except to take a standardized test every few years, the results of which are only allowed to be used for keeping charter school data and have no effect whatsoever on the status of their school (so if they fail the tests, nothing happens to them). Best of all, the state is perfectly happy to pay them money to do it.

    Also, I live in Boone. Where do you live?

  83. But if Walker’s bill passes in it’s current form, the only way to beat it would be the courts.

    Students with out of state drivers licenses and no passports (probably a majority at my school) would literally have to pay money to vote, which ain’t happening.

  84. And she didn’t have a passport until pretty recently, so if that law had existed in Alaska or whatever, they would have disenfranchised the future Republican queen bee. Now there’s a fun thought.

  85. He could definitely help us understand what is and isn’t possible with redistricting in NC.

  86. Did Dems get slaughtered in State Senate races? They had like a 5 seat majority before this election…

  87. They ran on a jobs platform, and have gone off the deep end considering all the typical GOP red meat (which has nothing to do with jobs).

    After being out of power 100 years, they have a lot of pent up frustration over hot topics like annexation, eminent domain, billboard regulation, jetties, gay marraige, stopping environmental regulation in general, unlimited charter schools, starting public funding for home schools, killing public funding for elections, stopping mass transit in general, and making it harder for brown people to vote. It’s a pretty long list, and jobs are no where to be found on it.

    They better do a heck of a job gerrymanering legislative seats, or Obama 2012 may hand the legislature back to the Democrats.

  88. In ’94, they won the State House, and then in ’98, they cobbled together a coalition majority in the State House.  Both majorities were swept away after two years, though.

    I really hope they bungle redistricting for themselves, too.

  89. Where we have 8 charter schools and a bevy of private schools sucking the lifeblood (middle class parents) out of the public schools. The bill you mentioned will just make that far worse as the irrational fear of minority students makes some parents think they have to pull little Johnny out of the Durham Public Schools for their safety.

    The idea that 4 kids could be a publicly-funded charter school is absurd. What’s to stop some parents from pulling their kids out of public school just to take advantage of the gravy train of funding for home (charter) schools?

    Charter schools (with more than 4 seats) represent the privatization of public education. They get to select the students they want, picking the top students out of the public schools and leaving struggling students behind in the public schools. Then they have the gall to brag about their test scores vs the public schools, who have to take everyone who shows up at the door.

  90. probably the only state worse than Minnesota, where Dem supermajorities turned into Republican control.

  91. since they ran both the House and the Senate.

    With the polling weakness of Bev Perdue, let’s hope they screw up legislative redistricting. Dems need to take back one house or the other in 2012 to keep the GOP from a trifecta that would turn NC into Alabama or Arizona.

Comments are closed.