There’s no getting around the fact that one of the keys to Pat McCrory’s 2012 victory in the race for Governor was the widespread perception that he was a “moderate.” In many places in North Carolina, voters proudly displayed “McCrory for Governor” and “Obama for President” campaign signs in the same front yards.
Ultimately, of course, there were many factors that contributed to McCrory’s reputation for moderation — some of them real and some imaginary — but at the heart of the matter was the widespread perception amongst modern suburbanites in many parts of the state that the Mayor of Charlotte was a man with whom they had much in common. Though pro-business and fiscally conservative, he was perceived to be a modern — even cosmopolitan — fellow who kept his religious beliefs to himself and who, being a Yankee transplant, would not be obsessed (like so many of his friends on the right) with recreating the North Carolina of the mid-20th Century.
It was in this light that McCrory’s promises about not further restricting access to abortion for the state’s women were so important and powerful. Read More