Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mr. McCrory's Wild Ride

You could almost hear Pat McCrory exhaling his relief today when he learned that Erskine Bowles would not run for governor. McCrory has yo-yo'd in the last week from being the prohibitive favorite over Gov. Bev Perdue, to facing a possible death-match against Bowles, to being the big favorite again over any of the Democrats in the race or considering it.

After thinking about it for the week since Perdue announced she would not run again, Bowles announced today that he would not run in the Democratic primary. That was a shame, we thought, because Bowles would have brought to the race one of the most impressive resumes in recent history: Successful businessman, head of the Small Business Administration, White House Chief of Staff, president of the UNC system and co-chair of the national deficit commission. And while he's not a born campaigner, he has money and the ability to raise it in a hurry.

So his departure was a gift to McCrory, who we endorsed in 2008 and who is the presumptive Republican nominee. McCrory is back in control of the race, leading in the polls over every potential Democratic challenger.

The only two Democrats who have announced they're running -- Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and state Rep. Bill Faison -- rank near the bottom of the list for favorability ratings among 13 Democrats measured by Public Policy Polling in Raleigh. And in a head-to-head matchup with McCrory, Dalton trails by 15 percentage points and Faison trails by 19. Those numbers would probably tighten up a bit once their name recognition goes up during a campaign, but they clearly start as big underdogs.

There aren't big threats sitting on the Democratic sidelines either. Former state Treasurer Richard Moore, former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, state Sen. Dan Blue, and U.S. Reps. Brad Miller and Mike McIntyre all trail badly in early polling.

One other big advantage for McCrory: About $2 million in the bank, far more than any prospective challenger.

Anything can change in a long campaign, but Democrats may have to sling mud and tie McCrory to an unpopular Republican legislature to have much chance.

-- Taylor Batten

9 comments:

Shelly said...

yes, yes, we know you are crying in your milk that erskine is not running...

BiBr said...

I don't really think McCrory was running scared as you seem to think Taylor (the CO is sooo biased it's not funny). Pat is a good guy and can hold his own on his own merits thank-you-very-much.

The Observer Editorial Board said...

BiBr: You don't think McCrory would rather face Bill Faison than Erskine Bowles?

One Discerner said...

The GOP were running so scared of Erskine they had become constipated. Ahhh the feeling of relief.

WashuOtaku said...

That's some nice spin you throw up there.

John said...

You failed to note that the "Impressive Resume" you referred to was all political appointments, NOT elected positions. The only actual elections he has participated in, he LOST! I think he was smart enough to realize he would've just lost another one.

heavymetal said...

Would McCrory rather have faced Bowles? Common sense says no.

Common sense also says that Bowles would have preserved the straight-party-ticket vote. Which is, in my opinion, why Perdue won't be in the race-- that straight-party-ticket vote was in imminent danger of fracture.

That being said, McCrory will still have an uphill battle against it. But if he can force it, how many other races will be in peril at the same time?

Just a thought.

Jim said...

". . .unpopular Republican legislature. . .? Well, okay, TB -- if you say so. I'm sure it's unpopular around the table at the meetings of the Editorial Board!

J said...

"Democrats may have to sling mud and tie McCrory to an unpopular Republican legislature to have much chance."

And the Observer will be at the front of that pack. I always suspected the CO endorsement was much more about putting a good face on Charlotte as being "behind their guy" than an actual belief he would be a better governor than Perdue.

McCrory may have more money, but whoever wins the Dem. nomination will have the "I'm running against a Charlotte guy" card, which will score big points east of I-95.