North Carolina also holds its primary today, and Democrats will select their gubernatorial nominee. Incumbent Bev Purdue, suffering low approval ratings, announced she would not run for reelection.
Six Democrats are seeking the nomination, with perhaps the best known among them former Rep. Bob Etheridge, who lost his House seat in 2010 after video surfaced of him confronting a young man on the street. The other candidates are Lt. Gov. Walter H. Dalton, state Rep. “Bill” Faison, Jr., Gardenia Henley, Bruce Blackmon, Gary Dunn. Dalton leads the most recent poll; Etheridge had an early lead but it appears that in crunch time, his campaign… choked.
Six Republicans are seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination, but polls indicate a likely easy win for former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory.
Also North Carolinians will head to the polls to vote on a constitutional amendment would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and it has been a divisive issue across the state. The Charlotte Observer notes, “Polls uniformly show that the issue likely will pass, possibly by a comfortable margin.”
Obama took on this assault upon his fundamental values of tolerance and equal justice before the law by issuing a two-sentence written statement in March.
“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” said Cameron French, his North Carolina campaign spokesman.
“That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”
North Carolina is another one of those states where the partisan composition of the electorate has changed since Obama was last on the ballot. According to Gallup, in 2009, 38.3 percent of respondents identified as Republicans; that figure is now 42.1 percent. Meanwhile, Democrats have slid from 47.4 percent of respondents to 43 percent.