Mecklenburg County has increasingly favored Democrats over the past several election cycles, and Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia recently pointed out that the county was one of many of the nation's largest to turn increasingly blue in recent history.
In 2012, 60.8 percent of voters in Mecklenburg went for Barack Obama compared to 38.3 percent for Mitt Romney. In 2000, George W. Bush carried Mecklenburg with 51 percent of the vote compared to Al Gore's 48.2 percent. George H.W. Bush won Mecklenburg over Michael Dukakis in 1988, 59.4 percent to 40.2 percent.
According to Sabato, the shift here and elsewhere reveals that success for Democrats now largely hinges on success in large cities, while Republicans are increasingly focused on rural areas like Appalachia.