Hawke, a long-time Republican strategist and senior advisor to McCrory's Republican campaign for governor, said he hasn't had the heart to study election returns in depth. And he said he's not one to make a whole lot of excuses.
But in comparing results in federal races to the results in statewide races, it's clear to Hawke that Obama's get-out-the-vote effort helped Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue win the election.
"That vote had nothing to do with the issues beneath a national level," Hawke said. "I think the Obama ground game and the ability they had to organize and get out the vote made a huge difference."
McCrory lost Mecklenburg County by 385 votes. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole lost the county by more than 105,000 votes. Sen. John McCain lost Mecklenburg County by nearly 100,000 votes. So in comparison, McCrory did pretty well.
"I think that's a testament to him as a candidate and maybe to our message," Hawke said.
McCrory performed much better in rural areas and Hawke said the Obama organization was just too strong in urban areas. Without that organization, McCrory could have picked up enough votes in Forsyth, Guilford, Buncombe and Cumberland counties to win the race, Hawke said.