Nov 7, 2012

2012 NC General Election Update - November 7, 2012

PRESIDENT: Governor MittRomney carried NC, but by only the narrowest of margins 50% to 48% - just over 97,000 votes out of nearly 5.5 million cast. McCain lost the state by around 14,000, so Romney had over a 100,000 vote turn-around from 2008. North Carolina is truly a swing state at the national level now.

 US HOUSE: Republicans now control the North Carolina delegation 9 to 4, and it still could be 10 - 3. Richard Hudson (NC 8), Mark Meadows (NC 11), and George Holding (NC 13) all won - changing previously D seats to R. In NC 7, incumbent Mike McIntyre won by only 507 votes over challenger NC State Senator David Rouzer, so there may be a recount in that race.
NC SUPREME COURT: Incumbent Justice Paul Newby defeated NC Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin IV, with 52% of the vote. The business community and the GOP backed Justice Newby heavily, this win by Justice Newby is considered big by the Republicans.
NC COURT OF APPEALS: The Republicans have gained one seat on the Court of Appeals, with challenger Chris Dillon defeating Judge Cressie Thigpen, with 53% of the vote. Democrat incumbents Judge Linda McGee, with 61% of the vote, and Judge Wanda Bryant, with 57% of the vote, won their races.
GOVERNOR: Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory won with 55% over Lt. Governor Walter Dalton’s 43%; a landslide by North Carolina standards. McCrory won 172,029 more votes in NC than Governor Romney did in the Presidential election.
LT. GOVERNOR: Republican Dan Forest has a narrow 11,418 vote lead over Democrat Linda Coleman. Coleman is yet to concede to Forest, meaning that a recount may be in order.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Democratic incumbent Roy Cooper was uncontested during the 2012 Election.
AUDITOR: Democratic incumbent Beth Wood was re-elected to a second term, defeating Republican Wake County school board member Debra Goldman, with 54% of the vote. Goldman lost some traction after a scandal was broken by the media about her relationship with another school board member.
COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE: Farmer and Republican incumbent Steve Troxler held onto his seat with 53% of the vote over Democrat Walter Smith, a Yadkin County poultry grower.
COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE: Democratic incumbent Wayne Goodwin was re-elected 52% to 48% (just over 157,000 vote victory margin out of almost 4.3 million votes cast in this race) over Republican Mike Causey. Coastal counties, who see higher homeowners’ rates than the rest of most of the State, paid much attention to this race. On the coast, Carteret county voted for Causey by a margin, 67%.
COMMISSIONER OF LABOR: Cherie Berry, a Republican incumbent, won her fourth term as Commissioner of Labor over former Commissioner of Labor, John Brooks, with 53% of the vote. Berry is well-known for her photo in elevators, signing off on the safety, making her known statewide as the “Elevator Queen.” Brooks was Commissioner of Labor for 1977 to 1993.
SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: Democratic incumbent June Atkinson held onto her seat, with 54% of the vote, defeating Wake County school board member, Republican John Tedesco.
TREASURER: Republican challenger, Steve Royal, an accountant, lost to Democratic incumbent Janet Cowell, with only 46% of the vote. Royal, an Elkin native, won his local area with 67% of the vote.
COUNCIL OF STATE TOTALS: Seven incumbents make up the Council of State, along with Republican newcomers McCrory and Forest. There will be four Republicans and five Democrats, in total.
STATE SENATE: The Senate Republicans have a net gain of 1 seat to increase their majority to 32 - 18. Republicans won all of the swing district races in the Senate.
STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The Republicans had a big win in the House, taking their majority from 68 seats, to 77 seats, a +9 net gain. Freshman Representative G.L. Pridgen, of Lumberton, is the only loss of the House Republicans, who lost in his leaning Democratic district this year.
With a Republican Governor, having a veto proof majority would not appear to be relevant, but these majorities give the GOP the opportunity to pass constitutional amendments, e.g., voter ID laws, with ease. It probably means that they will have more flexibility on other issues too.  
The Legislative Black Caucus gains new clout in the new General Assembly next year; 22 of the 43 Democrats in the House, and 9 of 18 in the Senate will belong to the Caucus.
Please contact the Raleigh McGuireWoods Consulting team if you have any questions or comments:
Harry Kaplan, Senior Vice-President
Jeff Barnhart, Senior Vice-President
Franklin Freeman, Senior Vice-President
John Merritt, Senior Vice-President
Johnny Tillett, Senior Vice-President
Bo Heath, Vice-President
Kerri Burke, Assistant Vice-President
Sarah Wolfe, Research Assistant
Katy Feinberg, Strategic Communications