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Perdue dismisses talk of vulnerability

Posted February 7, 2011

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— Gov. Beverly Perdue on Monday shrugged off comments in The Washington Post last week that she would be the most vulnerable Democratic governor on the ballot in 2012.

"It's never good for an incumbent when poll numbers that show you losing by 7 points are viewed as positive news," the newspaper wrote Friday in a political column about Perdue.

An experienced political fighter, Perdue said she's used to taking on doubters.

"I've been called the most challenged person wherever I was running since the day I filed (to enter my first race) in the late '80s," she said. "I've never lost a race, and I don't intend to lose a race."

Since she took office two years ago, Perdue has been burdened by the down economy and negative polling.

"One reason she's not as strong as she ought to be is her ratings among the Democratic base are really not as strong as they ought to be," Democratic consultant Gary Pearce said.

Pearce said there are rumblings that the governor might face competition in next year's Democratic primary, and he said a critical test will be how she handles the Republican-led legislature this year.

"There's nothing that unites Democrats more than fighting with Republicans," he said.

North Carolina State University political science professor Andy Taylor said Perdue must be strategic in her battles with GOP lawmakers, delicately weighing cuts versus taxes to avoid a public backlash.

"It's possible that Republican control might actually work to her advantage," Taylor said.

Gov. Beverly Perdue Perdue dismisses talk of vulnerability

The governor acknowledged that her ratings ride on the economy, and she said she's counting on continued economic improvement in the coming months to bolster her re-election bid.

Ongoing state and federal investigations into her campaign finances also could play a role, although Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby has said the state probe isn't focused on Perdue or any other elected official.

Political observers also see her closely tied to President Barack Obama's fortunes in North Carolina, especially with the Democratic convention landing in Charlotte next summer. Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, who narrowly lost to Perdue despite the Obama wave in 2008, appears to be angling for a rematch.

Since North Carolina allowed for consecutive gubernatorial terms in the late 1970s, no governor has ever lost a re-election bid. Recent polls show Perdue trailing McCrory in a potential rematch, but both candidates might have to get past primary challenges to get to that point.

"If 2012 is more like 2010, that's going to be problematic for her," Taylor said of Perdue.

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  • CrewMax Feb 9, 2011

    She won because of the straight ticket. Most of the people who gave her the vote couldn't even spell Obama.

  • okemooutlaw44 Feb 8, 2011

    It's amazing how some people can get that much tissue of their own stretched around their neck; But she does twist around like a rubber snake.

  • EyesintheSkies Feb 8, 2011

    "Pat McCrory in '12? Now there's a real improvement for you... He might be the only person in NC who has even fewer new ideas than that newly elected GOP majority."

    Spoke like a true HUA yellow dog Democrat.

  • beachboater Feb 8, 2011

    If she wants to maintain her record of zero losses, She better not run in 2012.

  • nufsaid Feb 8, 2011

    "I've never lost a race, and I don't intend to lose a race."

    Does this mean that she doesn't intent to run for gov in 2012?

  • rn4ecu Feb 8, 2011

    In her own words, she's "fabulous."

  • Jim Britt Feb 8, 2011

    She's considered one of the most vulnerable because she's a Democratic government in one of the most backward moving states. It's way too early to be voting but it would take an exceptional old school Republican to get my vote and the Republicans have declared war on them too.

  • Objective Scientist Feb 8, 2011

    Vulnerable? Probably so if the election were held today, although I don't fault her for "dismissing" the idea. An athlete has to walk on the court or field confident that they can win, or they likely will not. Politicians are the same... admit neither vulnerability nor weakness of any kind. Nevertheless, all in all... Perdue has not impressed me this far, and I am a very pragmatic person, not an ideologue - a staunch INDEPENDENT politically for decades and far longer than it has been "popular" to be an independent. As a citizen and tax payer, what I fear most is being "jerked around" by election results. Democrats win and it is "deny the Republicans anything!", and when the Republicans win, "deny the Democrats anything". One day "health care" is passed by the Dems, next day the Repubs are working hell-bent to repeal it. Would you "lame-brains", both Dems and Repubs, work together for the good of all of us?!?! You'd think that the whole world has to be either "black or white"!

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Feb 8, 2011

    she "dismisses" HA! Thanks, that one goes into the campaign slogans for those running against you.

  • Weaker Pelosi Feb 8, 2011

    If she buries her head any deeper, and she will be breathing air in china.

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