Jack Hawke, Pat McCrory's campaign manager, told the Charlotte Observer this morning that their general election strategy is to win enough votes in the east to neutralize the Democratic advantage there and build on Republican strength in the west.
Good luck with that.
He's right that a Republican isn't going to get elected Governor without doing well in the east. And I don't think Pat McCrory is going to be the one to do it.
Look at Tuesday night. Bev Perdue won a bevy of eastern counties by margins of more than 2:1 against Richard Moore. She's from there, and they love her.
McCrory on the other hand lost most of the eastern counties to Fred Smith by margins of 2:1 all the way on up to 8:1!
Perdue is going to clobber him out there.
The picture isn't much better for McCrory in the western part of the state either. He performed poorly in pretty much every county from Asheville on west.
That leaves the central Piedmont as McCrory's key area of performance, just as it was Tuesday. And with Barack Obama at the top of the ticket, the turnout from black voters in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Durham figures to be through the roof.
I do not see Pat McCrory getting elected Governor this fall barring Democratic self destruction. Which of course we've been known to do.
All that said, data is better than intuition, and we'll have our first general election poll of all the North Carolina races early next week.