Republicans won North Carolina’s governor’s race, a majority of legislative races, and even the state’s 15 electoral votes for Mitt Romney. But, Democrats were able to claim strong, grassroots campaigning led to President Barack Obama being reelected overwhelmingly Tuesday.
So what’s one to make of the seemingly conflicting results?
William Peace University political scientist David McLennan says state Democrats are going through “a natural transformation” but will need to evolve their message and find a new voice to lead the party in the General Assembly.
For Republicans, McLennan says conservatives will clearly need to examine their stance on social issues like immigration and gay marriage.
Latinos and other minorities were crucial to President Obama winning four more years.
And just six months after conservatives pushed through Amendment One in North Carolina, voters in Maryland and Maine approved marriage equality this week. (UPDATE to our original story: Washington also approved gay marriage Tuesday in Referendum 74, while Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as a union only between a man and a woman.):
“We’re seeing huge changes in the electorate, the citizens of the United States, and it’s playing out in politics,”explains McLennan.”As both parties go forward, clearly the Democrats have embraced, through President Obama, the gay marriage issue. What will the Republicans do – to use their metaphor – have an inclusive tent?”
McLennan says whether the old guard likes it or not, demographics are changing in North Carolina and across the country. That means both sides will have to adapt ahead of 2016 in their hope to reach beyond their traditional base.
McLennan joins this weekend on News and Views with Chris Fitzsimon to discuss the outcome of the 2012 election. For a preview, click below: