Romney won the state and its 15 electoral votes Tuesday, four years after President Barack Obama picked up a surprise win for the Democrats by 14,000 votes. The GOP had won every other presidential race in the state since 1980.
With most precincts reporting, Romney led by about 90,000 votes.
Obama tried hard to keep the state for the Democrats. He visited more than a dozen times, the last trip in September when the Democrats nominated him again at their national convention in Charlotte.
But Republicans made significant gains in the 2010 midterm elections and former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory got 55 percent of the vote Tuesday to be the first Republican to win the governor's race in 20 years.