When Jimmy Carter
and George H.W. Bush
were up for re-election, they didn't improve on their percentages in any state. The opposite is true: George W. Bush only lost ground in three states (South Dakota, Vermont and yes, North Carolina, by 0.01%) as he won a second term in 2004.
Other factors don't bode well for Obama to improve upon his 2008 performance in the Tarheel State: the state's Democratic governor, Bev Perdue
, has struggled with low approval ratings and faces the likelihood of a tough challenge from former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory
. The state's most prominent politician, former presidential candidate John Edwards
, may be on trial for campaign finance around the time of the president's re-election campaign.
And our friends at Smart Politics have analyzed the data
, and concluded there's historically no boost for candidates in the state where their party holds the convention.
Obama's re-election team surely believes the president has the demographics on his side in competing for North Carolina - and they're right about the trend lines. But he'll have to buck historical trends, not to mention a lousy economy, if he hopes to win it again.