Well Pat McCrory sure ended up doing better down the stretch than us pollsters expected. I wonder if WRAL is embarrassed about the Mason Dixon poll they commissioned that showed Fred Smith with a one point lead. At least Survey USA and PPP never showed it get closer than four.
Not much doubt about where he won it. Look at this map of the Charlotte media market, and look at this map of which counties he won and didn't. The only counties he won that weren't either in his home market or along I-85 were Wilkes, Forsyth, Lee, Montgomery, Chatham, Moore, Person, and Halifax. And those are all pretty darn proximate to I-85 or Charlotte tv market counties.
McCrory's victory is a pretty strong argument for Brad Crone's premise that I-85 is the state's political lifeline.
McCrory's margins in a lot of those counties was remarkable. In the outer core of the Charlotte media market he consistently beat Fred Smith more than 2:1 in counties including Alexander, Anson, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Montgomery, and Richmond. In the inner core of the Charlotte market the margins were even stronger- more than 3:1 in Lincloln and Rowan counties, more than 4:1 in Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Stanly, and Union counties and more than 5:1 in Mecklenburg.
It's a good thing because he really got trounced in a lot of areas in eastern and western North Carolina, which admittedly were not exactly voter rich. Counties in the east where he lost more than 2:1 include Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Hertford, Johnston, Lenoir, Martin, Onslow, Sampson, and Wayne. Counties in the east where he lost more than 3:1 include Jones, Pamlico, Gates, Currituck, and Bertie. He lost Beaufort and Hyde Counties 4:1, Chowan and Dare 5:1, Pasquotank and Perquimans 6:1, Camden 7:1, and Tyrrell 8:1.
In the west he lost 2:1 in Buncombe, Jackson, Henderson, Madison, Mitchell, Transylvania, and Yancey, 3:1 in Swain, Macon, Cherokee, Polk, and Clay, and 4:1 in Graham.
But he dominated in the center, and that was enough to push to victory- in the primary anyway.