In the end the 2009 elections in North Carolina told us very little about 2010.
There were good signs for Republicans:
-Energized conservatives turned out in large numbers for the Wake County School Board races, electing all of their candidates and defeating an incumbent Democratic Raleigh City Councilman in the process.
-Defeated Democratic Mayor Yvonne Johnson in Greensboro, the first incumbent ever to lose that office. Johnson's loss is the continuation of Republican gains on the Greensboro City Council that began in 2007.
But there were also good signs for Democrats:
-Anthony Foxx turned out more Obama wave voters in the Charlotte Mayoral race than we had anticipated, pushing him over the top and bringing David Howard as a third Democratic City Councilman along with him. The lesson there is that the new voters will come back out- with a good candidate. Foxx was a good candidate. Creigh Deeds in Virginia and Jon Corzine in New Jersey were not.
-Democrats swept the Asheville City Council race, dispatching controversial conservative and 2008 Republican Congressional nominee Carl Mumpower.
Ultimately these races were decided by local issues and the strengths of the candidates involved. It was a good night for the GOP nationally but the lesson in North Carolina is that if Democrats have good candidates who run effective campaigns they may be able to overcome the national tide.