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Morning Memo: North Carolina as a model for the national GOP?

N.C. AS A MODEL FOR THE NATIONAL GOP? For most Republicans, November was grim. But in North Carolina it was a happier story. “North Carolina could be a model for ‘red state’ resurgence,” says Marc Rotterman, a GOP strategist from Raleigh.

North Carolina Republicans will showcase their performance this week to the Republican National Committee, which starts its three-day winter meeting Wednesday at the Westin in uptown. A presentation scheduled for Thursday is called “Success in N.C.: A Blueprint for the Future.” But how much of that blueprint can be replicated is debatable.

***Welcome to the Dome Morning Memo -- the source for N.C. political news and analysis. Click below to read more.***

Primary runoff results by the numbers

The N.C. Board of Elections map showing the results of Tuesday's primary runoff election looks like it's bleeding – but at least it can be said that turnout was not the worst ever.

No one was surprised by the low turnout nor was anyone especially enthused that the record was not set – elections chief Gary Bartlett said Wednesday it was “still a pretty sad display” – but there are a few finer points to the numbers that are of interest.

Everyone following elections knew turnout would be bad, but there are at least a few surprises and unsurprising points that deserve mention.

2012 turnout didn't exceed 2008 primary, preliminary numbers show

The unofficial turnout stat for Tuesday's primary election: 34.37 percent.

State election officials and anecdotal reports from election day suggested the turnout this year could surpass four years ago -- driven mostly by interest in the constitutional marriage amendment -- but it fell shy.

In the 2008 primary -- featuring a heated battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- 36.86 percent of voters went to the polls.

But more people did vote in 2012 (read: population growth) at 2,164,074 compared to 2,125,215 in 2008.

Polls prepare to close -- check newsobserver.com for election results all night

As North Carolina polls prepared to close at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, state election officials suggested voter turnout could reach 2008’s high-water mark or possibly exceed the 37 percent threshold.

The strong voter interest on primary election day, combined with record early voting numbers, is a result of a referendum on whether to enshrine a ban on gay marriage and civil unions into the constitution.

The extra attention is coming with a few voting problems. At least three people in Chatham County received ballots this morning without the amendment question and similar problems were reported elsewhere in the state, including Winston-Salem. State election officials called the irregularities isolated. 

Read the full story from today's voting here and check newsobserver.com for continuous updates on election results throughout the night.

Pro-Obama group aims to increase black voter turnout in North Carolina

A new political group will work in North Carolina and six other states to get black voters to the ballot box in the 2012 election -- an effort designed to help President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.

Dubbed 1911 United, the group is a super PAC that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash to support or oppose a candidate. As reported by POLITICO's Dave Levinthal, the group's organizer, Sinclair Skinner, said the committee is supported by two prominent black fraternities, Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi, and intends to raise about $1.5 million to organize black voters and get first-time voters to the polls.

Read more about the group here.

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