Local Politics

NC girding for 2012 presidential battle

Posted December 9, 2011

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— North Carolina is considered one of the hottest battleground states in next year's presidential election.

The state was key to Barack Obama's presidential win in 2008, and Democrats are angling to make it important again. Republicans aren't about to concede North Carolina, however.

"To both parties, it's essential," Republican political strategist Marc Rotterman said. "Anyone who thinks it's going to be a cake walk is sorely mistaken."

"If Obama carries North Carolina, a Republican can't be elected president. A Republican has to have North Carolina," Democratic consultant Gary Pearce said. "We're a critically important state."

The president and first lady plan to visit Fort Bragg next week to welcome home troops from Iraq, which marks his fourth visit to North Carolina since June. Also, the Democratic National Convention will be held in Charlotte next September.

A recent survey by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling shows dead heat in North Carolina between Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, one of the front-runners for the Republican nomination. Another PPP poll puts Obama ahead of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, another GOP front-runner, in the state.

"If Newt becomes the nominee, I think that will change," said Rotterman, a longtime friend of Gingrich. "I'd love to see a debate between Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich."

NC seen as key battleground for Obama, GOP NC seen as key battleground for Obama, GOP

Gingrich would appeal to North Carolina conservatives, he said. A recent PPP poll gives Gingrich a commanding 51-14 percent lead in the state over Romney.

"This is very good territory for Newt in North Carolina," Rotterman said.

"I think Romney's problem apparently with Republicans is he looks squishy. He does not look like a real conservative," Pearce said, adding that he thinks Romney is a bigger threat to Obama because he can reach out to moderate independent voters, especially if the economy doesn't turn around.

Both consultants predict a fiery race that will bring candidates to North Carolina frequently and pump millions of dollars for campaign ads into the state economy.

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  • WooHoo2You Dec 9, 2011

    Socialism and BHO...can it survive? Can we survive as a free economy.. Italy.....Alex25

    Being Obama is not a socialist (you dont even know what the word means) i fail to see your point...

  • Alex25 Dec 9, 2011

    Socialism and BHO...can it survive? Can we survive as a free economy..?

    Italy.....

  • Obama 2012 Dec 9, 2011

    WooHoo2You,
    Obama 2012!

  • WooHoo2You Dec 9, 2011

    How are you tired of things that are not real? says WooHoo2You
    We all know you are on the Obama re-election goon squad, so your comments are taken for what they are worth, Nada, zilch.-the yoda

    And you blindly repeating what you heard on the radio makes you what?

    BTW, dont forget to buy your 'food insurance.'

  • eoglane Dec 9, 2011

    I give it to O'bama he is a good man, However he has not a clue on anything else. But he is trying. Will not vote this time for him,

  • The Yoda Dec 9, 2011

    How are you tired of things that are not real? says WooHoo2You

    We all know you are on the Obama re-election goon squad, so your comments are taken for what they are worth, Nada, zilch.

  • turbo08 Dec 9, 2011

    NEWT,RICK,RON,MITT anyone but you know who for 2012!

  • WooHoo2You Dec 9, 2011

    Bring it on Obama, we are tired of your socialism, anti-Americanism, anti-business and corruption.-The Yoda

    How are you tired of things that are not real?

  • MyOwnTwoCents Dec 9, 2011

    RON PAUL 2012!!!!

  • The Yoda Dec 9, 2011

    Bring it on Obama, we are tired of your socialism, anti-Americanism, anti-business and corruption.