Not all the dust has settled from last week’s election. Among the topics still reverberating around North Carolina:
Marriage Amendment. North Carolina was the 30th state to approve language prohibiting gay marriage and the last in the South to do so. Ninety-three of the state’s 100 counties had majorities voting in favor of the amendment. Approximately 2,136,000 votes were cast; 1,304,000 (61 percent) voted in favor of the amendment; 834,000 (39 percent) voted against it. Exit polls suggest 40 percent of Democrats supported the Marriage Amendment. Those who opposed the amendment raised almost twice as much money as those who supported it.
So why is it that supporters of the Marriage Amendment are the ones called extreme?
Trouble for Dems? It’s hard to use the argument that the election was a fluke. Turnout was 34.3 percent almost as high as 2008, when 36.8 percent of voters turned out to determine whether Obama or Clinton would win the North Carolina primary.
But a clear 20 percent of Democrats failed to vote for Obama as the Democratic nominee. Think about it: One in five Democratic voters didn’t feel certain enough to make that selection. Has anyone seen stories in the local or national press?
Also, remember those Exit Polls suggesting 40 percent of Democrats supported the Marriage Amendment. Nationally, liberal Democrats are railing against that outcome. Could it backfire?
Obama and Same-Sex Marriage. Vice President Biden’s comments earlier in the week on same sex marriage and the Tuesday’s primary results helped to push President Obama into revealing his “evolving” views on same sex marriage. On Wednesday, Obama came out in support of same sex marriage. He probably hopes this stand will bolster his fundraising efforts and support among gays. His decision will certainly not play well with African Americans, a group he needs to improve his chances for re-election but who have historically voted in favor of traditional marriage. I guess there was good reason why Obama cancelled his scheduled Election Day trip to North Carolina.
Bob Etheridge. Many pundits seem puzzled over Bob Etheridge’s poor showing. Etheridge’s support nearly mirrored the boundaries of the Congressional district he represented for years, without expanding much beyond that base. Anyone notice how Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton began to pull away as soon as Etheridge started running commercials tying himself to President Obama?
Wake School Board Candidates. Tuesday was a good day for three Republican members of the Wake County School Board. Debra Goldman will likely be in a runoff with Gregg Dority for the Republican nomination for State Auditor. John Tedesco captured 28 percent of the vote for the Republican nomination for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Richard Alexander was second with 24.2 percent. As of this writing, it’s uncertain whether Alexander will call for a runoff.
A version of this article originally appeared in The Wake Weekly.
Chris Malone, another member of the Wake School Board, won the Republican nomination for the State House’s 35th legislative district. His Democratic opponent in the fall will be former Wake County School Board member Lori Millberg.
Goldman, Tedesco and Malone all ran as Republicans and won election to the Wake County School Board in 2009. If all three win higher office, Debra Prickett will be the only Republican elected in 2009 who is still on the board.