How will North Carolina vote?

I’ve left Alabama for the Tar Heel state this weekend to celebrate my Grandfather’s 95th birthday.  I’ll be spending a lot of time hanging out with the (much) more conservative side of my family, most of them living in the state of North Carolina. 

This morning at breakfast, my Great Aunt asked my Aunt if Obama had a chance of winning in North Carolina.  My Aunt answered, essentially, “when hell freezes over.”  (Note: this Aunt would never say ‘hell’ in public.)  Don’t be so sure.

On Thursday, Rasmussen moved NC from the “Leans GOP” category to the “Toss Up” column.  Why?  Well, while several factors apparently go into the ranking, one of them is the latest polling and that has Obama up, by 3 points, in the State.  This isn’t completely new as Obama has been up in North Carolina for a couple of weeks.  North Carolina is certainly following national polling, which shows Obama holding a five to six point lead over the past nine days.

Other interesting things are happening in North Carolina.  Almost all recent polls have challenger Kay Hagan (D) up over Republican incumbent Libby Dole in that Senate race.  In the race for Governor,  Rasmussen Markets now gives Democrat Bev Perdue a 52% chance of winning to Republican Pat McCrory’s 48%.

It does seem like too much to hope that Democrats would sweep these three major races in November.  And certainly Republicans (and probably many Dems) are taking it for granted that it simply won’t happen.  But I don’t think it’s false hope to consider that it just might and I think the GOP understands the threat, evidenced by the fact that as recently as 9/21, McCain was moving resources to the state. 

In this election, there’s just not much that can be taken for granted.

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