Perdue's decision could impact national election

NC Governor Beverly Perdue

January 27, 2012 4:08:32 AM PST
Experts say Thursday's announcement that Gov. Bev Perdue will not seek re-election only adds fuel to the already fierce contest in the presidential election. North Carolina has been labeled a "critical battleground state" in the race for the White House.

The new political instability in North Carolina has the attention of the presidential candidates lusting for its support, according to Duke University Political Science Professor Kerry Haynie.

"I think we should buckle up and be ready for a wild ride," said Haynie. "I think Democrats will be here often. Republicans will be here often. Both national parties will be competing for this state. So, we're in for quite a ride here in North Carolina."

Haynie said it would be difficult for a candidate to win in November without North Carolina. In September, Charlotte will play host to the Democratic National Convention. President Barack Obama has been to the state numerous times.

"I think it's almost a certainty that President Obama will be here even more than he planned to, given today's announcements," said Haynie. "North Carolina is crucial."

With sagging poll numbers, Perdue's decision may be a relief to the Obama campaign. They are hoping a Democratic frontrunner will emerge to help rally support for the president but Republicans also see it as an opportunity.

"I'm sure the Republicans are smelling blood in the water with this announcement," said Haynie. "And I'm sure they'll be coming thinking they can knock off North Carolina and piggy back off of it and add it as a win to their column in November.

Right now, it is unclear who President Obama will throw his support behind.

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