Monday, July 30, 2007

North Carolina; The Red And Blue State

Who will carry North Carolina in 2008…Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, maybe both if what the state legislature is proposing comes true.

North Carolina looks to become the third state, after Maine and Nebraska, to award their electoral votes by who carries each congressional district. Each state's number of electoral votes is equal to the state's number of members of Congress; each state has two electoral votes for the two Senators and at least one for each member of the House of Representatives.

The plan, much like the case of Maine and Nebraska, two electoral votes are given to the candidate who carries the state. These two electoral votes represent the two Senators and then the remaining electoral votes, representing the Congressmen, are allotted by who wins each Congressional District. In the cases of Maine and Nebraska, the candidate who has won the state ended up carrying each district (Maine has two, Nebraska three) so we've never actually seen that happen.

North Carolina has 13 Congressional Districts and 15 Electoral votes. Democrats are almost assured of four electoral votes, stemming from the four Democratic-leaning districts; the North Carolina 1st in the northeastern corner of the state, the North Carolina 4th around Raleigh/Durham and the Research Triangle, the North Carolina 12th, the majority black district that stretches from Charlotte to Winston-Salem and High Point, and the North Carolina 13th, which includes Raleigh, Greensboro and points north. Five other electoral votes are guaranteed to the Republicans, stemming from the five Republican-leaning districts, and the rest would be up for grabs, assuming the state becomes a swing state...if not, the EV's would be allotted 11 for the Republicans, 4 for the Democrats.

Supports argue that plan will force candidates to campaign in what has been long considered a solid Republican state. North Carolina has not been competitive since 1992, when George H.W. Bush only narrowly defeated Bill Clinton and hasn't supported a Democrat since 1976, when it gave its electoral votes to Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. The state was close in 1980 and in 1996, but has gone strongly Republican all other times.

Still, that's four less votes for the Republicans and that's their problem with the idea, but the idea is supported by North Carolina Democrats who control both houses of the state legislature and the Governor's office. The Charlotte News Observers reporters that the bill received tentative approval by a vote of 60-49 in the North Carolina House of Representatives, with five Democrats voting no, all from areas where Republican candidates for federal office perform well in elections.

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