It's good news for North Carolina Democrats that Barack Obama is keeping Howard Dean on as chair of the DNC.
Dean has been much reviled by some party insiders for his '50 state strategy,' but it has helped pay clear dividends as Democrats won recent Congressional election in Mississippi and Louisiana districts that they had no business competing in.
The Obama campaign has the same goal of expanding the Democratic map that Dean does, and that makes it more likely that the campaign will be taken seriously in the state all the way through October.
Across the board it appears DC Democrats are giving North Carolina more respect this year. Obama seems to be serious about contesting North Carolina. The DSCC is helping Kay Hagan raise the money she needs to beat Elizabeth Dole. And the DCCC is taking Larry Kissell's bid to knock off Robin Hayes very seriously.
It would be great if they expanded their sights to campaigns like Daniel Johnson's to knock off Patrick McHenry, but it's nevertheless a much better situation than we had at the same time two years ago.