Local Politics

Obama expands fight to turn N.C. blue

Posted August 12, 2008
Updated August 13, 2008

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— Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama continues to expand his base of operations in North Carolina, hoping to capture a state in the November election that traditionally votes Republican.

Obama has opened 16 campaign offices across the state in recent weeks, five times as many as Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The GOP overall has nine North Carolina offices.

"We're going to fight for every vote in this state. There's no question about that," said Susan Lagana, a spokeswoman for Obama's campaign.

North Carolina hasn't backed a Democrat for president since Jimmy Carter in 1976. The party has seen a surge of new voters statewide this year, however.

More than 162,000 Democrats have been added to the state's voter rolls since early January, according to State Board of Elections figures. Republican registrations have grown by fewer than 19,000 in that time.

"It says people are ready for a change," Lagana said. "The last eight years have been hard on North Carolina in a lot of ways."

Andrew Taylor, a political science professor at North Carolina State University, said he thinks the excitement of the tight Democratic primary race between Obama and U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton contributed to the increase in voter registration.

"If the Democrats are going to win North Carolina in an election in the near future and they don't do it in 2008, it's going to probably be a long time until they do it again," Taylor said.

Still, state Republican Party spokesman Brent Woodcox said the numbers might be misleading.

"In Wake County, Democrats had 42 percent (of registered voters) in 2004, and they still have 42 percent. Nothing's changed," Woodcox said.

Wake County has added 21,507 Democrats this year, compared with 1,305 newly registered Republicans, according to the State Board of Elections.

The ranks of independent voters also have swelled this year, with 113,451 added statewide and 12,897 in Wake County. Both campaigns say that drawing unaffiliated voters could determine the final result this fall.

"We're (not) going to take anything for granted," Woodcox said.


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  • vbuchanan1969 Aug 13, 2008

    The only way I will ever be "Blue" is if Obama wins this state's support! We have "Tax Hike Mike" isn't that enough???

  • cadetsfan Aug 13, 2008

    One can hope!

  • Politically Honest NOT PC Aug 13, 2008

    No matter how hard they try to turn NC blue, we will always be Red, WHITE and Blue

  • canes017 Aug 13, 2008


  • pappybigtuna1 Aug 13, 2008

    The Dem's have been in control for the past 6 years, look where we are, you think putting more Tax & Spend in power is going to help the working folks.
    For the mental midget, Redneck means a hard working people, try it then call yourself an AMERICAN

  • 2thdoctordds Aug 13, 2008

    I would rather have a president that is proud to be an American and capable of writing his own speeches no matter how bad our selections are!

  • readme Aug 12, 2008

    Whatever. We work for a living here. Working + paying taxes = vote Republican. Unless we all wise up and vote Libertarian that is!!

  • Schpartacus Aug 12, 2008

    "It could happen. NC votes Democrats into office all the time, just lately not presidents. GObama!"

    A fellow Crimson Tide fan!

  • allison842 Aug 12, 2008

    It could happen. NC votes Democrats into office all the time, just lately not presidents. GObama!

  • davidgnews Aug 12, 2008

    We will all be "blue" with Obama as president.

    It's just your worst nightmare isn't it? Here's some news - we'll be that way no matter who wins.

    Even the republicans are liberals when they're spending YOUR tax money, which they've also done in such a grand fashion.