It has nothing to do with who Foxx is or who McCrory is. It’s all about numbers.
44% – The first, most important number. That’s roughly the percentage of registered Democrats in the state who are black. With Foxx, who is black, in the Democratic primary, unaffiliated black voters will also likely cross over to vote. If Foxx is the only black guy in the field, on the back of the envelope, he has a good shot at winning the primary if two or three white Democrats get in and split the vote, which they surely will.
With Foxx and another highly qualified, serious black candidate in a crowded primary field, there are still enough black votes to really boost a major metropolitan black candidate.
31.4% – This is now essentially a Democrat state. It’s not deep blue, but rather a purpley blue, but definitely blue. It is common knowledge in the campaign world that GOP registration in a state or district has to be at 35 percent for the GOP to have a serious chance at winning. It’s at 31.4 percent. Unaffiliated registration is 24.5 percent. Democrat registration is 43.8 percent. To win, McCrory or another Republican must turn out the GOP, not too hard in an presidential year, and capture almost all of the the unaffiliated vote, not an easy thing to do.
McCrory was polling at around 50 percent of the vote against current Gov. Bev Perdue, who was in the low 40s. But that likely has more to do with Perdue’s unpopularity — she’s the least liked governor in the nation — than McCrory’s popularity. After all, McCrory lost his hometown of Charlotte by a hair to Perdue in 2008. He hasn’t done much to change that since then but stand by as she became more and more unpopular.
McCrory, or any other Republican, could really struggle against someone who doesn’t start the race with high, built-in negatives like Perdue had.
Personalities, campaign strategies and uncontrollable outside factors like presidential year coat tails will color this race and anything could happen. But back of the envelope, this is where the GOP is starting. Perdue’s announcement that she won’t run again was a huge blow to the state GOP — and to McCrory.