How North Carolina Became Red Again

The Tar Heel State's move to the political left has ended as quickly as it started. Here are five reasons.

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Republicans took control of both chambers of the state Legislature for the first time in more than a century. GOP lawmakers then began to aggressively combat the agenda of Democratic Gov. Perdue, causing her popularity to rapidly decline. Perdue, eyeing the strong headwinds, did not run for re-election in 2012.

5. Blacks outvoted whites again: A reinvigorated GOP narrowly prevented Obama from winning the state again, largely because of momentum created by former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory's gubernatorial victory. McCrory became the first Republican governor elected in two decades. Yet strong minority turnout, particularly through expanded measures for voting, gave Republicans cause for concern. The Obama campaign machine helped blacks outperform whites at the polls for the second straight presidential election cycle.

The number of registered Latinos, who voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, increased by roughly 40 percent. More than half of all voters, including 70 percent of blacks, again used early balloting. Same-day registration added 97,000 to the rolls and allowed another 150,000 to stay eligible. And some 61,000 voted on the Sunday before Election Day, especially through the Souls to the Polls program run by black churches.

Corey Dade, an award-winning journalist based in Washington, D.C., is a former national correspondent at NPR and political reporter at the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe and other news organizations. Follow him on Twitter.

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