National Democratic officials said Thursday morning that North Carolina would remain a key target through the fall.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic chair, said the party and the Obama campaign had made major efforts to win the state for President Barack Obama.
The reason we are going to win North Carolina is because of how well-organized we are here, Shultz told a North Carolina delegation breakfast Thursday morning. We began organizing in 2008, and we never left. The Obama for America organizers have registered more new voters here than any state in the country.
David Simas, the Obama campaigns national director for opinion research, said Obamas North Carolina organization is the most active in the country in measurable terms.
Every Monday morning when I am at my desk in Chicago and get the statistics back on how many conversations have occurred, how many doors have been knocked, how many phones have been called, how many votes have been registered, North Carolina blows away everyone. Its not even close.
He said the Republicans have still not realized that North Carolina politics has undergone a shift.
To this day, Simas said, they do not believe that North Carolina is a swing state. They believe North Carolina is a red state. North Carolina will be a swing state not only for this election but for the election after that, for the election after that, and for election after that.
Following grandpas path
Charlotte businessman Cameron Harris was following in his granddaddys foot steps when he helped announce North Carolinas vote for Obama Wednesday night.
His grandfather, Cameron Morrison, a former governor and senator, announced the delegations vote for Adlai Stevenson during the 1952 Democratic convention.
Of course one wonders whether Morrison, who participated in the white supremacy campaigns of 1898 and 1900, would have voted for Obama. Morrison later became famous as the good roads governor and for his support for the university system.
Dont forget secret handshake
Because North Carolina Democrats have such a sweet spot at the front of the convention floor, they have had problems with interlopers sitting in temporarily empty chairs.
David Parker, the state Democratic Party chairman, told the delegates they should challenge unfamiliar people with a password, or security question, of sorts. Ask them what county they are from, he suggested, and then ask them to name the county seat.
Of course, Parker said, it only works if you actually know the names of the county seats of all 100 counties.
Politicos get minute in spotlight
It was North Carolina afternoon at the convention with speeches by the states congressional delegation Sen. Kay Hagan, Reps. G. K. Butterfiel d, David Price and Mel Watt and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton before the convention was actually called to order.
Hagan started things off with a big welcome and said North Carolina is where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great.
Her greeting was brief, but the rest of the delegations and Daltons was even shorter. Each lasted a little more than a minute.
Dalton, who faces former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory, in the race for governor, got in a plug for his website and his candidacy.
Heres what Dalton said. It wont take long to read.
Welcome to North Carolina a state that went blue in 2008, and a state that will go blue again in 2012!
This election is a choice between two directions: forward and back. Thats the choice before this country and this state, where Im proud to be our partys nominee for governor. My father, who served in our states Senate, taught me that the right policies can lift lives. He died when I was 8. He believed, as I believe, that we must fight for the middle class. That education creates opportunity.
Those are my values. And you know theyre President Obamas values, too.
So if you share these values, go to daltonfornc.com. Get involved. Vote for Walter Dalton and our president. And together we will move this country forward.
Staff writers Rob Christensen, John Frank and Lynn Bonner
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