With the growing number of issues surrounding the upcoming Democratic Party convention, which begins September 3 in North Carolina, the question of whether the Tar Heel state was the right choice from the beginning now looms over the gathering. A state-level sexual harassment scandal involving a North Carolina Democratic Party official has been wreaking havoc in local elections which was only the beginning. More controversy ensued as North Carolinians voted to uphold traditional marriage by amending the state constitution, a move that flew in the face of President Obama’s recent stated support for gay marriage.
To continue the pile on, North Carolina is a right-to-work state which has angered many union leaders, a strong base of the Democratic Party and historical financial backers of Democratic conventions over the years. The union controversy grew so large that national Democratic Party officials planned to bus in out-of-state union workers to staff the convention in hopes of placating their union donors. Of course, that move to bus in workers angered leaders within the state since North Carolina unemployment sits above the national average at over 9%.
The list is long and continues to go on and on with numerous clouds hanging over the 2012 Democratic Convention. The Washington Times reports on some of the questions and how Democratic Party officials intend to handle it:
It seems the tide has turned in the swing-state of North Carolina. As the Democrats begin to plan for their convention, an odd question arises.
Should the 2012 Democratic National Convention even be held in North Carolina?
In past presidential elections, North Carolina has been a stronghold for Republicans, with no Democrat carrying the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976. Barack Obama broke that string of Democratic defeats in 2008, winning the state by a mere 0.3 percent, or 14,000 votes, over then-Republican nominee, John McCain.
Obama’s win in North Carolina was the second closest race of the 2008 election, with Missouri also being a nail-bitter. However, Obama’s victory in North Carolina came as a shock to many in the GOP as they counted on, once again, carrying the state.
As we look toward the 2012 election, North Carolina has become a key swing-state, up for grabs by both parties.
North Carolina Democrats have already failed one major-electoral test-run to re-carry the northern state this election cycle. In May, North Carolina voters were given the chance to vote on an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.
The amendment passed overwhelmingly, with 61 percent of North Carolinians voting to ban same-sex marriage and rejecting the Democrat-led effort to kill the bill.
The bill passed just two days before President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage. It sent a huge signal to the Obama campaign that North Carolinians won’t be too quick to support the incumbent president.
National Democrats were outraged that North Carolina banned same-sex marriage, and a petition has been circulated urging the Party to move the Democratic convention out of Charlotte, North Carolina, and into “friendlier territory.”
So far the petition has garnered over 32,000 signatures, despite the DNC’s insistence that Charlotte will be a great place to hold their convention.
I really wonder how the DNC will balance the convention coverage and avoid any incidents of gay marriage supporters possibly insulting North Carolina voters over the recently passed constitutional amendment. A bad episode could erase any perceived gains from holding the convention in this location. This will certainly be an interesting convention to watch beginning September 3, 2012.