As Election Day nears, North Carolina is expected to include some of the closest races in the country. Polls show the U.S. Senate, presidential and gubernatorial races are all deadlocked. And, as Chuck Todd of MSNBC.com notes, "the Republicans feel best about their chances in the governor's race (a campaign they usually lose) than the senate or presidential." This may be because Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican candidate, has been able to present himself as the candidate of "change." Democrats have dominated the North Carolina state government for the past eight years, and McCrory finds himself in the unique position of a Republican candidate who represents a change.
Mac McCorkle, a veteran political consultant for McCrory's opponent Democratic Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue, visited my public policy class Monday. He explained that the Perdue campaign was frustrated by the way the media had "framed" the race by portraying McCrory as the candidate for change. McCorkle pointed out that many of the state's major newspapers—including the (Raleigh) News & Observer and the Durham Herald-Sun—have endorsed McCrory. He noted, however, that if Perdue were elected she would represent a major political change as the first woman governor of North Carolina.