CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Four years ago, Barack Obama's goal was to turn North Carolina from a Republican state to a Democratic one. Now that Obama is president, keeping it in the Democratic column may prove to be even harder.
North Carolina's unemployment rate is among highest in the nation. Social conservatives have been buoyed by the approval of a statewide ban on gay marriage. And North Carolina's Democratic Party is in disarray while Republicans gain ground in state and local races.
The president's best way to win North Carolina is by increasing voter registration among young people, minorities and newcomers. But even as North Carolina's demographics shift in Obama's favor, getting likely backers to the polls this time may be harder in an election marked by a lack a voter enthusiasm.