This is a great article about how a state that pretty much invented the southern strategy to keep Jessie Helms in power went to Obama in the last election. But the republicans in the state are only pushing their bigoted strategy harder as we saw with the proposed constitutional amendment. I like how they are also trying to restrict early voting because Obama did particularly well with early voting.

Republicans brace for tough 2012 fight against Obama in unlikely place — N.C.

By Amy Gardner, Published: May 30

RALEIGH, N.C. — By any number of indicators, President Obama shouldn’t have much of a chance in North Carolina next year. In no state was Obama’s 2008 win closer — he won by just 14,177 votes, or 0.3 percent of the electorate — and he’s less popular now. The economy, now Obama’s economy, is in worse shape. And voters here have turned against many Democrats, ousting a congressman and a slew of state lawmakers last fall.

But if Republican activists are feeling confident, you wouldn’t know it by what they’re doing and saying.

Republicans are poring over the details of how Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since Jimmy Carter. They are trying to pass laws in the legislature to restrict the early-voting system that Obama used to such remarkable effect. And Republicans are preaching to anyone who will listen that those who think Obama couldn’t possibly win here again had better wake up and get to work.

“They turned out voters in record numbers last time, and we need to be ready,” said Robin Hayes, chairman of the North Carolina GOP and a former congressman who was defeated in the 2008 wave that Obama led. “We expect them to be as good and probably better. We know they’ll have more money. And if you think that’s not the case, you’re making a foolish mistake.”

The dynamics in North Carolina that worry Republicans — a booming minority population, an influx of more moderate voters and a changing set of priorities — are on display across other parts of the South as well, notably in Virginia and Florida, where Obama also won in 2008.