News 14 Carolina Web Staff

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Capital Tonight Nov. 19: Governor-Elect Pat McCrory

On Capital Tonight: Host Tim Boyum sits down with Governor-Elect Pat McCrory, in his first interview since the election. He talks about the transition of power and health care reform. Plus, our Reporters Roundtable features Tim Funk of the Charlotte Observer and Rick Henderson of Carolina Journal.

Capital Tonight Nov. 16: Scott Huffmon, Michael Bitzer, on crossover voters

On Capital Tonight: Profs. Scott Huffman and Michael Bitzer break down the numbers on a finicky voting group: the crossover voters.

Capital Tonight Nov. 15: Chris Kromm, on impact of superPACs

On Capital Tonight: Chris Kromm from the Institute for Southern Studies looks at the impact of superPACs on statewide races, Business Reporter Adam Rhew shows how the fiscal cliff could affect you, Senior Web Producer Ben McNeely breaks down the numbers of the youth vote, and Tyler Kralle and Sam Spencer look at the impact of the youth vote in 2012.

Capital Tonight Nov. 14: N.C. State Prof. Andy Taylor, on new congressional delegation

On Capital Tonight: The fiscal cliff is looming! President Barack Obama lays out his strategy and Allan Freyer of the The Budget and Tax Center explains it all. Plus, N.C. State Professor Andy Taylor talks about the new faces in North Carolina’s congressional delegation.

Capital Tonight Nov. 13: Sen. Kay Hagan, on deficit reduction

On Capital Tonight: We talk with Sen. Kay Hagan about the looming fiscal cliff and compromise talks on deficit reduction, plus, Duke Energy and the attorney general face off in the state Supreme Court over rate hikes, and, the deadline for setting up a health exchange as part of health care reform looms.

Capital Tonight Nov. 12: Duke University’s Don Taylor on health care reform

On Capital Tonight: Duke University’s Don Taylor talks about how the health care reform law will be implemented in North Carolina.

Decision 2012 by the Numbers: Why Romney, McCrory took NC

After falling short in 2008, Pat McCrory took advantage of Republican momentum in North Carolina in 2012 and was elected governor.

RALEIGH — Election Night 2012 saw a reversal of fortune from 2008.

After electing a Democratic governor — Bev Perdue — and turning the state blue for Barack Obama, North Carolina elected a Republican governor — Pat McCrory — on Tuesday and gave its 15 electoral votes to Mitt Romney.

Why? Exit poll data and an analysis of county-by-county returns give us some answers.

First, the race for governor:

McCrory, who lost to Perdue in 2008, turned things around this time, beating Walter Dalton with significant gains in key demographic groups: younger voters, political moderates and North Carolina voters in both rural and major urban areas.

According to exit polling data from the National Election Pool, McCrory’s substantial win (55 percent to 43 percent) represented improved numbers from his 2008 loss across a wide spectrum of demographic groups.

He had double-digit gains among:
• Young voters (received 40 percent of the 18-29 vote in 2012 compared to 28 percent in 2008)
• Moderate voters (49 percent in 2012 compared to 34 percent in 2008)
• Voters in major urban areas, those over 500,000 population (51 percent of the vote in 2012 compared to 28 percent in 2008)
• Voters in rural areas (61 percent in 2012 compared to 44 percent in 2008)
• Voters in eastern NC counties (52 percent in 2012 compared to 40 percent in 2008)
• Voters in the Piedmont/Triad area (58 percent in 2012 compared to 48 percent in 2008)

In the presidential race:

Romney erased Obama’s 14,000 vote margin from 2008against Sen. John McCain and won the state by 97,000 votes in the final, unofficial count. No single, large bloc of voters accounts for the loss.

Obama won North Carolina’s major urban counties in both 2008 and 2012, and the margins were similar in almost all of those counties.

The state’s largest county, Mecklenburg, went for Obama by 100,000 votes in 2008. The Democrats held their convention in Charlotte this year and the president’s margin of victory was once again 100,000 votes.

Of the urban counties giving a boost to Obama’s re-election, only Forsyth County saw his margin fall off in a big way. Forsyth gave him a 17,000 vote edge over McCain in 2008 but the president beat Romney by a little more than 12,000 votes there in 2012.

The exit polling data gives some better clues to the Romney victory in the state.

• White voters represented 70 percent of the electorate in 2012, down from 75 percent in 2008, but Obama’s share of the white vote fell from 35 percent in 2008 to 31 percent in 2012.

• The President maintained his dominance among black voters (96 percent in 2012 compared to 95 percent in 2008). He also won 68 percent of Hispanic voters, who represented 4 percent of the 2012 presidential vote, but that wasn’t enough to overcome Romney’s 68 percent win among white voters.

• The President also lost support from moderate voters, who gave him 63 percent of their votes in 2008, but just 57 percent in 2012.

• Obama lost support in large urban areas (down from 75 percent of the vote in 2008 to 60 percent) and in rural areas (down from 49 percent to 37 percent), similar to the gains McCrory saw in those places.

Exit polling is not an exact science, but the National Election Pool results are based on more than 4,000 interviews of North Carolina voters, conducted at 50 selected polling places around the state and in more than 900 telephone interviews with early and absentee voters.

The margin of error in the surveys, conducted by Edison Research of New Jersey for the Associated Press and the five major broadcast networks, is +/-4%.

Watch Former Pres. Bill Clinton’s campaign speech in Raleigh

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at an Obama campaign rally at Pullen Park in Raleigh on Sunday, Nov. 4, ahead of Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Capital Tonight Nov. 2: The Electoral College explained

On Capital Tonight: Profs. Michael Bitzer and Scott Huffmon explain the Electoral College and its role in presidential politics. Plus, Loretta Boniti takes a look back at a busy week at the polls as early voting wraps up.

Capital Tonight Nov. 1: Voices of the Voters

On Capital Tonight: We ask North Carolina voters what is on their minds and what issues will drive their votes come Election Day.