VOLUME 116, ISSUE 105
State could swing either way
DTH FILE/JESSEY DEARING
Republican presidential candidate John McCain
speaks at the Crown Center in Fayetteville.
A BLOC TO BE RECKONED WITH
In historic year, youth
lead rush to participate
BY ANDY KENNEY AND DANIELLE KUCERA
Young voters have bucked historical trends
this year, making themselves an undeniable
presence in an election that could hinge on turn
ing out previously disengaged voters.
“We’re going to make history as a country this
year, whatever party wins, and so I think young
people have been excited about the possibility of
participating in history,” said UNC journalism
professor Ferrel Guillory.
Since January 2008, 90,000 young adults
registered to vote in North Carolina, a 16 per
cent increase in less than a year and the largest
gain of any age group.
“The conventional wisdom is that younger
votes are disproportionately inactive in poli
tics, but what’s happening this year is that this
model is outdated,” said Paul Cox, presidential
candidate Barack Obama’s N.C. communica
On college campuses, students have turned
out for early voting, registered new voters, helped
SEE YOUTH, PAGE 9
Youth vote in North Carolina
New registered voters between the ages of 18 to 29 are
expected to strongly influence the presidential election.
New registered voters 96.5 percent of UNC students
in N.C by age polled by UWire are registered
(since Jan. 1) Students' identification
„ Unaffiliated Republican
SOURCE: http://ELECTIONS.GMU.EDU DTH/ANNA CARRINGTON
Governor race down to wire
Many voters crossing party lines
BY MATT LYNLEY
Tonight’s conclusion of the neck
and-neck race for N.C. governor
could end a 16-year monopoly of
the seat for the state’s Democrats.
Urbanization, a changing politi
cal culture and frustration with
the current government have all
made the Republican candidate,
Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, a
tough opponent for Democratic
candidate Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue.
McCrory has relied on a message
of change, portraying himself as a
Raleigh outsider who can eliminate
corruption in Gov. Mike Easley’s
administration and the legislature.
“I’m running for governor
because I want to change the cul
ture of state government,” McCrory
said in a September debate with
Perdue. “A culture in which you
can’t trust state government.”
Perdue who has been in
Raleigh since 1986 as a legislator
and then as lieutenant governor
sells herself as the candidate with
the necessary experience.
“I believe that I’ve got the experi
Serving the students and the University community since 1893
ohr lailu (Far Mrri
BY ARIEL ZIRULNICK
STATE AND NATIONAL EDITOR
Jimmy Carter pulled it off in 1976 and Bill Clinton
came within a point in 1992.
Now it’s Democratic presidential nominee Barack
Obama vying for this traditionally Republican state’s
15 electoral votes.
However, Republican opponent John McCain is put
ting up a fight to prevent North Carolina from slipping
through his fingers.
The candidates and their runningmates have criss
crossed the state. Obama’s early gains brought the
McCain campaign to the state full throttle.
“It’s exciting and it’s historic. It certainly has heightened
the intensity of the campaign in the state,” said UNC jour
nalism professor Ferrel Guillory.
“The McCain campaign has to defend what had been
safe Republican turf. What it means is that the Obama
campaign has expanded the playing field for a Democrat
The increasing competitiveness of the N.C. race i- Real
Clear Politics’ average of several polls had them tied at 48
percent as ofNov. 2 has brought an onslaught of appear
ances by both tickets and their surrogates.
The early arrival and aggressiveness of Obama’s N.C.
ground operations were key in Obama’s gains, but so were
-, J ' ■ 1 § l I
--- B Bn
' I w
Potential young voters stand on a street corner in Charlotte on Sept. 21 before a "Change We Need" rally and show their support for Sen. Barack Obama.
Young adults have registered in record numbers in North Carolina this election season nearly 90,000 in the past nine months, al6 percent increase.
ence and capacity to be the governor
that can move North Carolina for
ward,” she said in the same debate.
The race has been dose since the
primaries. In a May 13 poll released
by Raleigh-based Public Policy
Polling, the candidates were even at
45 percent On Oct 28, Perdue led
McCrory 47 percent to 44 percent
McCrory never passed Perdue in
the polls, but he has reflected more
support among Democratic voters
than she has among Republicans.
His best chance at overtaking Perdue
rests in voters that cross party lines.
The race began closely because of
a divisive Democratic primary and
McCrary’s strong record as mayor,
said N.C. Sen. Minority Leader
Phil Berger. McCrory has served a
record eight terms as mayor.
“This results in an election that
is closer than some people would
have thought, especially since all
the experts were expecting an over
whelmingly Democratic year.”
Perdue’s primary victory 56
percent to 40 percent over State
SEE GOVERNOR, PAGE 9
"I'm running for governor because
I want to change the culture of
state government' - Pat McCrory
"I've got the experience and
capacity to ... move North
Carolina forward." - Bev Perdue
DTH ONLINE ARTICLE: Leaders of both parties are hoping
high turnout and straight-ticket voting will help smaller races.
DTH ONLINE ARTICLE: Obama addressed a Charlotte crowd
Monday in his second-to-last campaign stop before Election Day.
factors neither candidate was directly responsible for.
Plummeting approval of the Bush administration, the
economic crisis and a demographic transition in North
Carolina are giving Obama a viability in the state that a
Democrat has not won since Carter’s run.
Speculation about whether North Carolina could
become a swing state in the general election began
months ago, following Obama’s decisive win in the N.C.
Democratic primary he led former candidate Hillary
Clinton about 56 percent to 41 percent.
The competitive primary gave him a head start in the
general election campaign, prompting him to establish
operations in North Carolina early on and making voters
more familiar with him.
“Barack Obama really benefited from the fact that
the state became a battleground during the Democratic
primary,” said Brent Woodcox, N.C. Republican Party
communications director. “It put staff and grassroots
SEE SWING, PAGE 9
Senate battle surprises
Hagan proves a challenge for Dole
BY OLIVIA HAMMILL
When the U.S. Senate race
began, it seemed unlikely that
Democrats could produce a via
ble challenger for incumbent U.S.
Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C.
However, N.C. Sen. Kay Hagan,
D-Guilford, virtually unknown
when she announced her candi
dacy, has proven to be a legiti
“I saw her on TV the other
day, and I was blown away by
the kind of transformation of
the Kay Hagan I ran against in
the primary and the Kay Hagan
that has run against Dole,” said
Chapel Hill businessman Jim
Neal, who ran against Hagan in
the Democratic primary.
According to a Nov. 3 poll
by Raleigh-based Public Policy
Polling, Hagan is leading Dole 51
percent to 44 percent.
In June, Hagan trailed by 5 per
centage points, and in February,
by 17, according to polls by the
It is usually difficult to win
L— IT .71 ,■
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama
talks to the crowd in Charlotte on Monday evening.
against incumbents unless they
have strong personal negatives,
but disapproval of the Bush
administration and Washington
politics have hurt Dole’s chances.
However, a key aspect of
Hagan’s strong challenge is the
support from the Democratic
Senatorial Campaign Committee,
which provides money to elect
“The biggest aspect of this race
has been the tremendous amount
of money the DSCC has put in
North Carolina against Dole to
reinforce the concept that she
hasn’t been taking care of the
state very well,” said UNC jour
nalism professor Leroy Towns.
The committee spent several
million dollars on television ads,
which began in September.
“A basic rule in politics is that if
you allow a heavy ad body on TV
to go unanswered, it does consid
erable damage to your campaign.
I believe that’s what happened in
this case,” Towns said.
SEE SENATOR, PAGE 9
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2008
N.C. Sen. Kay Hagan plans to
spend Election Day in Charlotte,
Raleigh and Greensboro.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole has
been touring North Carolina on
her 'Elizaßus Tour."