Although some pundits tried to discount North Carolina’s importance in the Democratic presidential race after Pennsylvania, suggesting that Indiana was the only real prize on May 6, the candidates don’t seem to have paid that much heed. Both have been in the state in the past couple of days, with President Clinton scheduled for a big two-day swing through rural and small-town NC starting tomorrow. Both are spending big bucks on TV.
When the latest Wright controversy filled the airwaves yesterday, followed by the news that two-term Gov. Mike Easley would endorse Clinton, I talked to a couple of Democratic friends who now agree with me that the race is going to tighten a bit more here. Most still expect an Obama win, but the margin might well fall short of the original talk of a double-digit blowout. As the week progresses, I predict that the Obama team will changes places with the Clinton team on talk of expectations — the former will now point out that a win is a win, the latter will now say that Obama has to beat the spread.