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A special primary election PDF Print E-mail
Barlow's Beat
By Barlow Herget   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 11:12

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Well.  Wasn’t that special, as Dana Carvey’s Church Lady might say.

North Carolina’s Primary Election was special.  Frist, it drew a near record number of voters, 34 percent or 2.16 million votes.  By contrast, the heated 2000 Primary Election drew 18 percent.

Second, the most voters, 2.13 million, came to decide not who was running for president or governor but to adopt a constitutional amendment to ban homosexual marriage and civil unions.

More Republicans than Democrats voted in the presidential election.  The total Republican Primary vote was 966,609 of which Mitt Romney received 65.6 percent.  Democrats numbered 958,906, and President Obama managed 79.2 percent against “no preference’s” 20.8 percent.

It was the reverse in the governor’s race.  More Democrats showed up for the short but spirited contest that nominated Lt. Governor Walter Dalton than the Republican’s coronation of former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, 927,060 voters to 891,446.  Mr. Dalton beat former Congressman Bob Etheridge with 46 percent of the vote to Etheridge’s 38 percent.  Mr. McCrory won with an impressive 83 percent.

There was nothing special about the influence of money in this primary.  Typically, the candidate with the most money wins between 85 to 94 percent of the time.

That axiom held fast in the Dalton-Etheridge race, the 13th Congressional GOP primary between former federal prosecutor George Holding and Wake County Commissioner Paul Coble, and the Democratic primary between former legislator Linda Coleman and state Senator Eric Mansfield.

The new presence of Super PACs will make it more difficult for candidates without access to wealthy patrons.

Incumbents, all won their nominations except for two Democrats, Brad Miller and Heath Schuler, who were gerrymandered into Republican leaning districts and chose not to run.

What was special was the margin of victory by Amendment One supporters.  Most political observers believed the amendment would be adopted, but not by the landslide 61 percent.

That vote propelled North Carolina into the lead story on Wednesday and was a factor in President Obama’s subsequent support of homosexual civil unions.

Less noticed was Mr. Obama’s tepid support of 79 percent.  But the White House surely noticed.  So did the New York Times, which recently removed North Carolina from its list of critical swing states.

The White House also watched North Carolina’s Democratic Party David Parker continue his destructive campaign to split the party in this crucial election.

Mr. Parker and the primary results on Amendment One and Mr. Obama’s vote might persuade the Obama Campaign to send its vaunted organization resources elsewhere.  That would be special indeed for the state’s Democratic candidates in November. 

 
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