The New York Times spotlights North Carolina today, in assessing the relative success of John McCain and Barack Obama. McCain spoke to a few thousand supporters in Concord--which voted overwhelmingly for Bush in 2004--on Saturday, while Obama "reached beyond his base" on Sunday in attracting over 10,000 supporters to Fayetteville, a pro-military bastion and home to Fort Bragg. The Times notes that Obama and McCain are neck-and-neck in a state that hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter. In the Gray Lady's opinion, here's why:
The turnabout can be traced to an influx of new voters and a change in demographics; a slowing of the state’s economy and the collapse of the nation’s financial system; Mr. Obama’s extensive ground organization, huge financial advantage and amount spent on television (seven to one over Mr. McCain); the state’s large populationof blacks and students; and Mr. McCain’s neglect of the state.