Democrats hadn't put North Carolina into the presidential "win" column since 1976, but Barack Obama won the state four years ago by just over 14,000 votes. This year, the Republicans expected the state to revert to form. The Real Clear Politics average gave Mitt Romney a three-point lead headed into tonight's race. But an hour after polls closed at 7:30, North Carolina's presidential vote remained too close to call.
In the gubernatorial race, Republican Pat McCrory, a Charlotte businessman, became the state's first GOP governor in more than two decades, beating Democrat Walter Dalton, the state's lieutenant governor. The final percentages were not yet clear.