RALEIGH, N.C. — President-elect Obama won North Carolina on Thursday, a triumph that underscored his political strength as he turned nine states that President Bush won in 2004 to Democratic blue.
The Associated Press declared Obama the winner after canvassing counties there to determine the number of outstanding ballots. The AP found that there are not enough remaining ballots for Republican John McCain to close a 13,693-vote deficit.
North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes brings Obama’s total to 364 — nearly 100 more than necessary to win the White House — to McCain’s 162. Missouri is the only state that remains too close to call, with McCain leading by several thousand votes.
Obama’s win in North Carolina was the first for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976.
Of Bush’s 2004 states, Obama captured Virginia, Florida and North Carolina in the South, Ohio, Indiana and Iowa in the Midwest and Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico in the West. All total, Obama has won 28 states and the District of Columbia, McCain 21.
Obama’s win completed the party’s sweep at the top of the North Carolina ticket. Beverly Perdue was elected the state’s first female governor, while Kay Hagan unseated one of the GOP’s most respected figures in Sen. Elizabeth Dole.