Pat McCrory. (What happened?)

pat worriedRight now, the popular thing is to scream about vote fraud.  There is some interesting evidence out there to support that argument.  

Current returns show about a 5000 vote statewide for Cooper.

But why didn’t these cheaters nail Burr? (Granted, he does cave and give them a lot of what they want.) You have to ask — in a Republican wave year — why did our Republican incumbent governor come up short? 

Here are some thoughts:

  • Tolls.  Remember Them?   The state spent years ramming a dubious public-private toll road deal down the throats of Northern Mecklenburg County voters.  McCrory and then-speaker Thom Tillis appeared to dismiss all of those angry voices.  Tillis graduated to DC, but McCrory was still in Raleigh to oversee the deal and feel the wrath of local voters.  The anti-toll crowd sure did collect a number of scalps during local elections.    Just scanning the November election returns, I see a margin of about 3000 votes separating Cooper and McCrory in the very-Republican North Meck precincts.  That accounts for who showed up and marked a ballot for the governor’s race.  But how many out there left that race blank, or sat out the election, out of anger over McCrory’s role in the toll deal? patbev
  • Shunning Trump.   Anyone with half a brain is looking at the election returns and seeing them as a Trump-inspired wave.  All kinds of people came out of the woodwork to back the man from NYC and his perceived allies.  The GOP — destined pre-vote to lose seats in the US Senate — actually survived as a majority.  The only two seats they lost were held by Republicans who made a huge deal out of shunning Trump.    In North Carolina, McCrory and Richard Burr were quite lukewarm toward Trump.  Burr, ironically, was likely helped by all those ads his opponent ran against him linking him to Trump.   (Too bad Cooper didn’t run ads linking McCrory to Trump.)  You have to wonder what might have been if our governor had gotten out there a little more enthusiastically with Trump earlier on.
  • Footsie with Democrats, influence peddlers.  It appears that the governor’s team let the campaign fundraising unit dictate an awful lot of policy decisions in the governor’s office. In Robeson County, the governor scooped up a lot of cash from sources that had long-been diehard Democrats.  He appointed those people to state posts, and fought to get them favors from the state.  Meanwhile, the long-suffering local huntpatGOP activists got left in the dirt.  (He ended up in 2016 becoming the first ever Republican governor to WIN Robeson County.)

    GOP activists in other counties tell me stories about the governor’s office regularly ignoring their
    recommendations for appointment to community college boards and boards of election — forsaking them for newfound Democrat allies or big check-writers who had never done a thing for the local party.  Look at the number of Democrat donors and activists who McCrory and Tillis got onto the UNC big boards.  Forsaking an opportunity to remake and reform Raleigh for the sake of some extra cash. 

  • The base.   Charlotte voters are quite different from the rest of the state.  In Charlotte, conservatism does not play much of a role in GOP politics.  (See Edwin Peacock III and Richard Vinroot as examples.)  Political success can rise or fall on simply making and preserving friendships.  Even with folks in the other party.  As Charlotte mayor, the left doesn’t view you as much of a threat.  But, as governor, you have the potential to hinder their agenda.  They’re not going to be as nice as they were when you were mayor.
    pat beth
    Surviving and thriving statewide as a Republican depends greatly on warming up to the party’s conservative base.  (Much as the Democrats warm up to the run-through-the-streets-and-break-stuff crowd.)   Joining with the libs to condemn the Confederate flag?
     I understand the Sons of Confederate Veterans is 10,000 strong in North Carolina.  They’re a pretty conservative bunch.  Even HALF of those folks leaving the governor’s race blank can be painful.  Especially when the race ends in a 5000 vote deficit for the GOP.

    The same problem arises when you get wishy-washy over stuff like HB2, cutting spending, and blocking ObamaCare.  The folks who favor all of that stuff are the ones who would walk over glass and fire to support Republicans — IF they feel the GOP has their back.  You need them solidly in your backfield before pulling this ‘crossing-the-aisle’ routine.

patthomI had one longtime political pro tell me, during the campaign:  “Looking at these TV ads, It’s hard to tell who the Republican is and who the Democrat is.  Cooper’s people are doing a great job of blurring the lines.”

And then there was THIS election night commentary from a veteran conservative politico, amidst a celebration involving adult beverages. (It’s always fun to interview folks after they’ve had a few.  People tend to be more honest and blunt and candid in that state.) :  “I don’t give a $h!t about Pat McCrory,  The governor has no real power.  He’s expendable. A veto-proof majority in the general assembly can sit Roy in the corner for four years.  We don’t need Deborah Ross making trouble with the judges.  We need Burr up there to make sure the right person gets  approved for the Supreme Court. That’s about the only reason.”

For THIS guy to not give a, um, “$h!t” about Pat McCrory speaks volumes about the failure of the governor’s campaign team.  If you can’t impress THIS GUY, how can you fire up all the low-information types out there? 

  • Meddling at the state party. It’s been pretty clear that the governor’s political team has had their hand in the internal operations of the NCGOP HQ for some time.  They put Brad’s brother Dallas in.  They also helped orchestrate the ouster of the duly elected chairman and his replacement with Dallas’s Grandpa.
    From the beginning, it was like there was nothing else going on in the state except the governor’s campaign. There was no teamwork to send the governor out to help local candidates and build goodwill locally.  (In fact, one county chairman told me a story about watching the governor’s motorcade drive right past a local GOP event on the way to a cocktail party hosted by a BIG influence-peddling check-writer.  I wonder how many signs Mr. Check Writer put out?  I wonder how many phone calls he made for the governor, or how many hours he put in at the polls?)

    Contrast that to the Democrats who had paid operatives in every county building goodwill and helping local candidates.  If not for Trump, the other side would have had a lot more to cheer about in our state on Tuesday.  

McCrory may survive canvassing and the recounts. (Clearly, it’s a long-shot.)  If he does, I certainly hope he and his team take some of this to heart.

28 thoughts on “Pat McCrory. (What happened?)

  1. Well, the good thing is the legislature is in a good position to keep the progressos from wreaking havoc with the state. It will be nice to see Ol’ Roy continue to be over in the corner….he has a lot of practice doing nothing as the AG.

  2. Regarding McCrory, it seems the rural areas let him down, which is a surprise because Trump did so well there. Here’s an analysis I saw from a NC political consultant:

    “At first glance it appears that Burr led the way in Urban areas, McCrory second, Trump 3rd. But in the rural areas, Trump ran up the score and McCrory trailed mightily. For example, in Wake county, McCrory received 3200 votes more than Trump. In Meck, McCrory outpaced Trump by 4,900. But go to solid GOP rural Randolph county and McCrory trailed Trump by 3,000. In Alexander county (just pulled at random for example purposes), Trump received 635 more votes than McCrory. And it’s the same way across any rural county you look at. Are these rural white Dems (the old Reagan Democrats that vote GOP federally but Dem at the state level)? I think that is probably the case with a big chunk of UNAs mixed in. Why McCrory couldn’t connect with them will be up for further discussion. Burr was generally in between Trump and McCrory in rural areas but was up big in Urbans. In Meck, Burr 172k, McCrory 159k, Trump 154k.”

    I wonder how many rural voters single-shotted Trump and left everyone else blank (or voted Trump and then only Burr due to Deborah Ross being anti-gun and anti-flag).

    And regarding Roy Cooper – yes, he doesn’t have much real power, but he and Stein can gum things up in the courts now that the NC Supreme Court is 4-3 liberal majority…unless that gets remedied somehow.

    1. A good start on those rural voter stats, but there’s more data to crunch. In some rural counties, Dan Forest not only got more votes than McCrory (in some cases, a LOT more) but Forest also outperformed Trump. My guess is that Forest got votes from GOP voters angry about McCrory’s party meddling and from some GOP NeverTrumpers as well as GOP/conservaDem SCV/DCVs.

        1. Assuming the recount does not change things, Dan Forest now has 4 free years to raise money and campaign against a hamstrung “Ray” Cooper while serving as the highest ranking statewide elected Republican in state government, setting the tone for the 2020 campaign and his governing agenda thereafter. Go get’ em, Lt. Dan! (BTW, McCrory should’ve let Hal Weatherman run his campaign this year, too.)

    2. The question in your next to last paragraph is one that I have been asking. I cannot see someone who pulled the lever for Trump and/or Burr as someone who would then go and vote for that doofus Roy Cooper. It would be interesting to see if the votes in the governor race were less than in the presidential race and if we are just in this situation due to people abstaining from making a choice.

      And hopefully Buck will come out on top…but doubtful. I guess they will be recounting or certifying that election soon.

  3. I an tell you what happened. Pat kicked the. past in the teeth a week before the election by rearranging the MFC, and engaging in pay-to-play politics s with MFC appointments. The state GOP better scramble and get rid of Robin Hayes. I will expound later.

  4. Charlotte republicans have become more and more like liberals as each county convention passes and some might be offended with me saying this, but the rules they have used lately to run the county convention prove this with the limiting of free speech in not allowing resolutions other then ones submitted to the state convention

    1. Along those lines, some people in the more conservative eastern part of the state have been talking about splitting up the state party into regional parties within the state since we no longer seem to share a commitment to the advancement of a conservative agenda. Perhaps the liberal Republicans on the I-85 corridor would welcome separation from the rest of us as well. True, RNC would never go along with this, but I think we’ve reached the point where we should ignore the doings of the national Republican Party in order to pursue a more conservative NC.

  5. The ONLY reason I voted for McCrory was HB2. He is otherwise a liberal failure who squandered his first term conservative support — same lib whack jobs in the UNC system, tolls, Common Core, etc. However, Buck Newton is the exact opposite and needs our support. Moreover, without integrity in the voting booth, we have nothing. And something here smells awfully putrid.

  6. McCrory suffered a death of a thousand cuts, bleeding votes from a number of fumbles, from the SCV license plates to the toll roads to Marine Fisheries Commission. He ticked off elements of the base on issues very important to them, and that cost him votes.

    In some cases, not voting or voting for Cooper was self defeating. For example on the SCV license plates, McCrory made a dumb statement but then backed off. He signed Mike Speciale’s bill to protect Confederate monuments. Soros-backed Cooper is likely to be a bigger threat to the SCV license plates than McCrory ever thought about being. With 10,000 SCV members plus their family members, that alone is enough to have defeated McCrory, but they may have cut off their noses to spite their faces.

    The toll road opponents in North Mecklenburg and southern Iredell also are a big enough group to have, by themselves, taken McCrory down, but again Cooper is likely to be worse on that issue than McCrory.

    I know a couple of SCV members who had come to terms with supporting McCrory again and another who was bound and determined to not support him due to the license plate issue. I suspect that the SCV’ers were not monolithic in their vote patterns, but that McCrory did lose quite a few votes there which had been for him the last two elections, due to his blunder on this issue.

    Commercial fishermen have been staunch GOP supporters going back to when being Republican was not cool, so to be kicked in the teeth by a GOP governor was hard to take for them. GOP governors Martin and Holshouser had looked out for the commercial fishermen.

    Governor McCrory has been getting lots of bad political advice and it has come back to haunt him. Regardless, NC cannot stand far left Roy Cooper, so hopefully, the canvas and recount will turn things around.

  7. Following up on what GU Wonder has said, I am fairly familiar with many members of the SCV, their families and friends and allies. My best guess is that the Governor’s SCV license plate confiscation plan easily cost him 5,000-10,000 sure votes. It is simply unfathomable that his staff allowed him to do this. We have heard through some insiders that McCrory’s chief of staff, Thomas Stith, is largely to blame for this debacle. Others are saying McCrory wouldn’t listen to anyone when making this decision. Whatever happened, I am convinced it cost McCrory his governorship. The SCV members took this threat very seriously and lost all trust in McCrory. Every SCV member I know voted against McCrory.

    1. I head that Preibus of RNC and Chris Chistie of the RGA were making calls to GOP governors after that idiot in SC started the ball rolling, urging them to do similar things, but whereever the idea came from, it was stupid on both a political and policy level, and it surely cost McCrory votes.

      He may be the second southern Republican governor to defeat himself by attacking southern heritage.

  8. I think Forrest would have won handily. One thing to note is that, while his staff is much smaller than the governor’s, it is very efficient. Just about every legislator I know was critical of McCrory’s incompetent staff.

  9. The target of the Dems was to replace McCrory so consequently the voter shenanigans in Wake,Orange and Durham counties..i am related to Cooper and wouldn’t give him my vote.

    1. Did things change THAT much since 2012? And why didn’t those “shifts” kill Donald Trump, Dan Forest, Mark Johnson, Cherie Berry, Steve Troxler, Richard Burr, or Dale Folwell?

      1. McCrory took the Charlotte bait and failed to respond with political common sense.
        You have to look at the urban counties and the vote difference from four years ago. Try down 200,000 in Wake and the same in Mecklenberg. Young people who can’t read financial results and care more about perceived discrimination. I am not saying that McCrory ran a good campaign and I might agree with those who say that he thinks like a mayor and not a governor, but I learned my Cooper policy and personality from Gene Boyce.

  10. Dan Forrest is no Conservative either.. Supporting a 2 bil omnibus bond package and recently backing FEMA coming into the state and confiscating private property. He clearly has no understanding of the Constitution. And if he does he isn’t willing to honor his oath and interpose on behalf of NC citizens. Come on guys, it’s time we ran some real Patriots!!!

    In Liberty,

  11. Another factor was the Trump voters upset with GOP establishment figures dissing Trump and responding by voting only for Trump on the ballot. That was foolish as there were other good conservatives on the ballot who were not dissing Trump. But Dallas Woodhouse did not help that situation at all when he put on a press release after the Billy Bush tape came out that threw Trump under the bus, and purported to distance McCrory from Trump. Woodhouse put his figurehead chairman’s name on it, but it was clearly a Woodhouse product. Woodhouse’s dumb move clearly cost McCrory some votes.

  12. Cmon guys if Forest isnt conservative than what is conservative? I may not agree with everything on this site but at least your consistently conservative and I think Dan is too. Im impressed with a lot of ya’ll and him when it comes to that. Still I picked out a winning district and ran the numbers… On average in it 10% went to someone other than the main candidates for president… no such drag for Gov. When I broke it down by precinct Trump who won most precincts in his race did not come out favorably but neither did McCrory… each competing with the other for last place amongst Republican vote getters. So people went down ticket to vote for Republicans. McCrory also lost serious numbers compared to 2012. Now he did have a tougher race this time, but he was outspent 2-1 as well. As a door knocker I can give you anecdotal evidence only.. Unaffiliated women and soft R’s (women) were concerned about HB2 and a bunch of them were convinced we raised taxes, cut education even medicaid… I dont know where that all came from but thats what I heard. Still McCrory did seem to come on at the end. Another week he’d win without recount. People were coming home. Let’s hope he catch’s a break. We do not need Cooper!

  13. Timing on the MFC appointment decisions was unfortunate for McCrory because it showed the connection between what the otherwise friend to the coastal communities cares about to his preference to big contributions to his campaign from fat cats. It gave a strong sign that he was willing to forego protecting the livelihoods and valuable cultural heritage of our hard-working watermen and ensuring healthy food resources to our citizens when money for his coffers is involved. The fishermen and those who love them have long memories. That trust has been broken.

  14. Whether it is the toll roads, commercial fishermen, or the 10,000 Sons of Confederate Veterans, more and more political insiders I have spoken with since the election say McCrory would just not listen to sound advice. They never knew where he was getting his advice from and finally just figured out that he was simply doing what he wanted to do–just following his own instincts, which were mostly bad.

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