Thursday, January 26, 2012
Perhaps Perdue, a Democrat, will shed more light on her thinking when she makes it official later today. She clearly faced a stiff test from Republican and former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory. She has trailed him in every poll since shortly after taking office and her approval numbers have at times been abysmal. The continuing sluggish economy and shorter Obama coattails than she enjoyed in 2008 were going to make her reelection tough.
Even so, a loss was not such a foregone conclusion that many people expected her not to try. Perhaps her internal polling numbers are even worse than ones that have been reported. Perhaps she's just beaten down by the difficulty of the job. Perhaps there's another shoe to drop in investigations into her campaign and its fundraising and reporting.
Her announcement will surely set off a scramble by Democrats to replace her on the ballot. Rep. Bill Faison, D-Orange, will almost certainly run. He has been laying the groundwork for months. But Perdue's departure will attract many other Democrats who might have otherwise waited until 2016.
We guess Perdue had already made this decision last week when she called for raising taxes in an election year. That's typically political suicide. But if her campaign was already dead, no more harm could be done to her electoral prospects. She'll be a lame duck for the next 10 months. On the other hand, she'll also be free to crusade for everything she truly believes is right, with no political calculations required.
-- Taylor Batten
Posted by Observer editorial board at 9:41 AM