Pat McCrory had never lost an election in Charlotte- until Tuesday. While Bev Perdue's margin of victory in Mecklenburg County was pretty small, her victory in the city itself was much greater- about 10 percent.
The fact that McCrory couldn't even win the city he's Mayor of in his quest to be elected Governor has some interesting implications moving forward. One reason he's had such ease getting reelected as Mayor over and over again is that the Democrats have put forth weak opponents against him. That will not be the case if he chooses to seek another term in 2009 with popular At Large City Councilman Anthony Foxx already announced as a candidate and other strong Democrats potentially in the mix as well. He may have to fight if he wants to keep his current post.
What about another bid for Governor? McCrory won 14 out of 18 counties within the Charlotte tv market, but lost 56 of the other 82 across the state. It's unclear whether he really has that much appeal outside his home base. He didn't connect with rural voters, which meant that Bev Perdue was able to win a lot of counties where Barack Obama lost. Republicans may want to nominate someone who can fare better in every different part of the state.
Where does that leave him? I think McCrory's best shot for higher office is probably replacing Sue Myrick in Congress at some point. He did quite well in Gaston and Union Counties, and conceivably the Mecklenburg part of the 9th Congressional District as well. Democrats are not likely to be particularly competitive for that seat any time soon, meaning it could be McCrory's for the taking whenever it comes open.