Pat McCrory is the only new Republican governor elected Tuesday -- winning in counties President Obama claimed victory but not the one where he grew up.
McCrory acknowledged his outlier win as he thanked his team during a press conference Wednesday. "I think they ran one of the best campaigns ever in North Carolina history and in this nation," he said. "Our campaign strategy worked and it was obviously ... quite unique in the outcome as compared to the rest of the nation."
Democrats fended off challengers in Missouri, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Delaware and Vermont -- and appeared to win two close calls in Montana and Washington, where ballots are still being counted. Republicans kept the governor's office in North Dakota, Indiana and Utah, AP reported. The Republican Governors Association spent big money to elect McCrory and only late in the game diverted dollars to other states as the race in North Carolina looked solidly Republican.
Even though Mitt Romney took North Carolina, McCrory won on his own right, pulling in 172,000 more votes than the presidential candidate.
McCrory also claimed victory in six counties that Obama won: Chatham, Forsyth, Granville, Mecklenburg, Nash, Richmond and Wake.
McCrory received the majority of votes in the county where he lives but not where he grew up. Guilford County favored Obama and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton. McCrory mentioned his affinity for his home county and hometown of Jamestown at every stop -- and even in his victory speech, apparently unaware he lost there.