(Bloomberg) – In the maze of color-coded maps and exit polls on Election night, North Carolina will send a resounding message. The state, which voted for Barack Obama eight years ago and for Mitt Romney in 2012, is a must-win for Donald Trump. If Clinton wins, she’s probably off to a night that will resemble Obama’s 2008 victory.
The Senate race is one of a half-dozen that will decide the critical question of which party controls the chamber. There’s also a governor’s race, mired in controversies over discrimination against gays and voting rights for minorities, with important implications for the state and perhaps the nation.
Demographics are destiny in this purple state. In 2008, a little more than half of the voters were born in-state and Obama was defeated among that group; he won by taking those that had moved to North Carolina. This year, more than half of the electorate will be voters who’ve moved to the state, and a good percentage will be college-educated. Both characteristics advantage Democrats.
The Republican legislature and an acquiescent governor passed restrictions on voting in 2013. Some of these were thrown out by courts but some remain, and there is speculation the limits could depress the turnout of black voters and the young, two groups that are likely to be predominantly in the Democratic camp. In the 2012 election, when Obama didn’t make an effort in the state, there was a 10 percent drop in the number of 18- to 29-year-old voters, and the black vote was down slightly. The top priority of Democrats is to reverse that this time.
With a little more than a week to go, Clinton appears to be up about three to four points, though that was before the news at the end of the week that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had reopened the inquiry into her use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state.
Democratic Attorney-General Roy Cooper is a little ahead of the incumbent governor, Pat McCrory, and the Senate contest between the moderately liberal state legislator, Deborah Ross, and the two-term incumbent conservative Republican Richard Burr, is a toss-up.
Deborah Ross has no legitimate place in the political spotlight. She is a pandering soft-shoe communist, with more faces than a circus clown and less integrity than a used car salesman. Worse still, she has that special brand of ‘painfully average’ intellect which is utterly incapable of crafting a unique thought, position, or statement on any issue of actual civic or social importance. Perhaps her profound lack of creative energy is rooted in a simple lack of interest, and her failing to recognize issues of importance to her constituents upon her own volition may simply be a symptom of her “I just do what the State Party people tell me to” attitude.
Her speeches and print materials are composed of the blandest milquetoast progressive drivel I have ever encountered, with carefully benign lip service paid to each plank in the Democratic platform, in perfect soto voice and superbly passivated affect. By these gentle machinations she maintains her honorary title of “moderate”, when nothing could be further from the truth. Blunt honesty would be to say that she is an utterly spineless moderate, subject to the manipulations of the rather extreme social Marxists at the helm of the NC State Democratic party.
Regardless of any excuses she might launch to defend her character (or rather, lack thereof), Ross is exactly the kind of politician we have spent the last several decades trying to flush out of of the state-house, and state politics in general.