Democrats chose North Carolina as their host state for the 2012 election after delivering a surprisingly strong showing in 2008. Barack Obama became the first Democrats to win the state since Jimmy Carter, and Bev Purdue won the gubernatorial election in a narrow but significant 3-point victory. Democrats hoped that by staging their convention in Charlotte, they could solidify their gains and raise the stature of Democratic officials in North Carolina.
How’s that working out? Not exactly as they’d hoped:
North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue (D) is set to announce today that she will not seek reelection in 2012, according to two sources familiar with her plans.
Perdue, who turned 65 earlier this month, was set for a rematch of her 2008 race with former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory (R), but she has been plagued by low approval ratings and faced some tough odds this year.
It probably didn’t help that Perdue offered to cancel Congressional elections in 2012 after her party took a drubbing in the midterms. When outrage erupted over her comments, Perdue lamely tried to claim she was joking, but the audio of the event makes it clear that Perdue was serious. In fact, she was so serious that Democrat Brad Miller is announcing that he’s canceling his re-election bid for his House seat, too. What a knee-slapper!
Instead of making a triumphant entry into Charlotte and lifting Perdue to re-election, Democrats from around the country will have their convention opened by a one-term governor who couldn’t win re-election even with a Democratic presidential incumbent on the top of the ticket and her party spending a ton of money in her state. That’s not exactly a winning message for Democrats this summer.
Update: As two commenters have pointed out, Perdue made those comments last year, not in 2010, and meant them for the 2012 Congressional elections. I’ve fixed it above.