RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina is rarely a swing state in presidential politics. Not since Jimmy Carter won North Carolina in 1976 has the state voted Democrat for president. Now, the John Kerry campaign is showing signs it may invest resources to reverse the trend.
John Kerry's TV ads are now running on local stations in 19 so-called battleground states like Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin, but not in North Carolina. In fact, Democratic presidential nominees have not even contested North Carolina on televison since Bill Clinton bought ad time in 1992.
The Kerry campaign has inquired about, but not committed to, TV advertising rates for May and June in North Carolina and four other southern states -- Virgina, Tennessee, Georgia and Kentucky.
"John Kerry has what it takes right here to be president of the United States," said former presidential candidate John Edwards in March 2004.
Some political pundits said it shows North Carolina Sen. John Edwards is getting serious consideration as Kerry's running mate. Even if Edwards is not on the ticket, UNC political science professor Thad Beyle told WRAL, "It means North Carolina is potentially a state that could be moved off the Republican dime for the first time since 1976."
Beyle said questions about Iraq and the economy could make Bush more vulnerable in the Tar Heel State.