There were eight counties in North Carolina last fall where Barack Obama did eight points or better than John Kerry did in the state in 2004. Interestingly, two of them were Onslow and Cumberland Counties, perhaps the most military heavy locales in the state.
Now granted Obama did not exactly do well in Onslow- he only got 39% of the vote- but that's a lot better than the 30% Kerry pulled. Obama did have quite a good performance in Cumberland, getting 59% after Kerry narrowly lost it in 2004.
I don't know whether these numbers are a reflection that Obama resonated better than expected with military interests, or if the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads just really depressed Kerry's strength in those places four years ago.
Fayetteville was one of Obama's favorite campaign stops in the state over the course of last year.
The other six counties where Obama did eight points or more better than Kerry were Pitt (54 for Obama to 46 for Kerry), Durham (76 to 68), Wake (57 to 49), Forsyth (55 to 46), Guilford (59 to 50), and Mecklenburg (62 to 52).