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Morning Roundup: 5 reasons why Obama lost N.C.; McCrory's new challenge

President Barack Obama almost ran the table Tuesday night when it came to battleground states. The lone exception: North Carolina.

Of a dozen competitive states, it was the only one that went from Democratic blue in 2008 to Republican red this year. Why didn’t Obama carry the Tar Heel State? Read five reasons here and see a map of results here.

More political headlines:

--Pat McCrory on Thursday will set foot in the Capitol for the first time as governor-elect. A block north, he will see a major challenge facing his administration: the N.C. General Assembly. 

--The 7th Congressional campaign and the lieutenant governor's race are headed to overtime. A recount looms.

McCrory to meet Gov. Perdue on Thursday, name transition team members

Pat McCrory's schedule in his first days as governor-elect are becoming more clear.

McCrory will travel to Raleigh on Wednesday night ahead of a full day of meetings scheduled Thursday in the capital city. McCrory will meet at 11:30 a.m. with Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, who beat him in the 2008 election.

Notebook: Given big loss, what did Walter Dalton do wrong?

In the wake of Democrat Walter Dalton's double-digit loss in the governor's race comes this question: Could he have done anything different to win?

Dome put the question to a few Democratic consultants and political observers. They offer interesting takes on why Dalton never caught fire but mention one recurring theme: he didn't distance himself from the current administration strongly enough. Read below.

Pat McCrory changed the N.C. map in his victory

Republican Pat McCrory's comeback after his loss in the 2008 govenor's race is striking.

He won 40 counties in 2008 and 77 counties in 2012, according to preliminary results.

Take a look at the 2012 state map (top). And the 2008 map (right) from McCrory's race against Gov. Bev Perdue.

Notebook: Would Gov. Perdue have made a better candidate than Dalton?

Even though the latest poll shows Democrat Walter Dalton pulling closer to frontrunner Pat McCrory, one questions hangs over his flagging campaign: Could Gov. Bev Perdue have done better?

Dome posed the question to six political consultants and pundits. Read their thoughts below and questions about whether Democrats ever had a chance. 

GOP questions Perdue refunds, Dalton contributions

Months after deciding not to seek another term, Perdue refunded $243,000 in campaign contributions. About $100,000 soon found its way to Dalton’s campaign, disclosure reports show.

About 15 of the 50 donors received the contribution and wrote a check to Dalton within a couple weeks. Now the timing is the subject of a campaign finance complaint filed by the N.C. Republican Party that alleges the transfers amount to an excess contribution from the Perdue campaign to Dalton.

Absent from campaign trail, Perdue helps Dalton behind the scenes

UPDATED: A major question entering the gubernatorial campaign: How would outgoing Gov. Bev Perdue handle the election of her successor?

At first glance, it seems that she ignored the governor's race. She didn't appear on the campaign trail for Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and kept $1.3 million in her campaign account instead of donating it to the state Democratic Party to help her would-be successor. On Monday, the day before the election, Perdue's lone public event is a digital learning conference in Asheboro.

Gov. Perdue refunds donors, gives $250K to party; $1.26 million remains

As noted in today's story, Gov. Bev Perdue is still sitting on $1.26 million as her would-be Democratic successor struggled to raise money. More details from her report:

Perdue started the year with $2 million. Since July, she directed $250,000 to the state Democratic Party and refunded $243,000 to individual donors. A campaign aide said she also gave $4,000 to Dalton, but the donation is not reflected in the records.

McCrory, Dalton to attend memorial service for dead airmen

UPDATED: Pat McCrory and Walter Dalton, the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor, will attend the memorial service honoring N.C. Air National Guard members Tuesday.

The 9 a.m. event will take place in Charlotte, McCrory's hometown where he served as mayor for 14 years. Gov. Bev Perdue is expected to speak.

Based in Charlotte, the C-130 tanker from an Air National Guard wing was carrying a crew of six while fighting a blaze in South Dakota's Black Hills when it crashed, killing four crew members and injuring two more.

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