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Given that this should be a Democratic year and that Democrats have won the last four Governor’s races, it is surprising that early polls show the Governor’s race essentially tied.

The polls may be underestimating the African-American vote. Early polls often show Democrats getting only 60-70 percent of that vote. But they always end up with 90-plus percent. That translates to a six- or seven-point lead for Bev Perdue.

But that still falls short of the double-digit leads that Democrats held at this point of the last four Governor’s races – two for Jim Hunt and two for Mike Easley.

Which gives rise to various theories:

  • Women still face a glass ceiling in races for top executive positions, i.e., President and Governor.

  • McCrory’s TV ads, message and style are even more of a problem for Democrats than I thought.

  • Perdue’s style may be too Southern, small-town, even “country” for the state’s swing suburban voters.

Whatever the reason, the Governor’s race this year is no slam dunk for Democrats. Especially if Obama turns out to be a bust rather than a boom here.

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