Sabato’s Crystal Ball, the political analysis publication of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, on Thursday moved the North Carolina governor’s race from “toss-up” to “leans Democratic.”
In April, analyst Larry Sabato had moved the contest from “leans Republican,” based on the negative publicity from House Bill 2, the law restricting LGBT protections.
Sabato points to Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper’s slim lead over Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in polling averages, and Cooper’s out-raising the governor in campaign contributions, as well as presumed political damage to the governor from HB2.
Incumbent governors are much more likely to win re-election, he notes.
The North Carolina angle was part of a nationwide analysis, which showed 11 of 36 contested gubernatorial races very close.