2004 United States presidential election in North Carolina

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George-W-Bush.jpeg
John F. Kerry.jpg
Nominee George W. Bush John Kerry
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Texas Massachusetts
Running mate Dick Cheney John Edwards
Electoral vote 15 0
Popular vote 1,961,166 1,525,849
Percentage 56.02% 43.58%

North Carolina Presidential Election Results 2004.svg
County Results

President before election

George W. Bush
Republican

Elected President

George W. Bush
Republican

The 2004 United States presidential election in North Carolina took place on November 2, 2004, and was part of the 2004 United States presidential election. Voters chose 15 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

North Carolina was won by incumbent President George W. Bush by a 12.44% margin of victory. Prior to the election, all 12 news organizations considered this a state Bush would win, or a red state. North Carolina was also the home state of Democratic Party vice presidential nominee John Edwards, who was then representing the state in the United States Senate. This was not enough for Democrats to break Republican success in this state since Jimmy Carter's victory in 1976. While winning the state comfortably, Bush's margin of 12.44% was 0.39% lower than his 2000 performance, making it the only Southern state to swing more Democratic than 2000.

Bush became the first Republican to win the White House without carrying Mecklenburg or Guilford Counties since Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

Primaries

Campaign

Predictions

There were 12 news organizations who made state-by-state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day.[1]

  1. D.C. Political Report: Likely Republican
  2. Associated Press: Leans Bush
  3. CNN: Bush
  4. Cook Political Report: Leans Republican
  5. Newsweek: Leans Bush
  6. New York Times: Solid Bush
  7. Rasmussen Reports: Bush
  8. Research 2000: Leans Bush
  9. Washington Post: Bush
  10. Washington Times: Solid Bush
  11. Zogby International: Bush
  12. Washington Dispatch: Bush

Polling

Bush won every single pre-election poll. The final 3 poll average showed Bush leading 52% to 44%.[2]

Fundraising

Bush raised $4,465,160.[3] Kerry raised $2,049,794.[4]

Advertising and visits

Neither campaign advertised or visited the state during the fall campaign.[5][6]

Analysis

John Edwards failed to make his home state competitive in the general election.[7] In 2000, George W. Bush had performed strongly in most of the South, including North Carolina, which he had won by 12.83%. As in most of the rest of the South, he did so once again in North Carolina, notwithstanding Edwards' presence on the Democratic ticket, although his margin of victory did go down slightly, to 12.44%, even as nationally he improved from losing the popular vote by 0.5% to winning it by 2.5%. Bush consistently led in polling leading up to election day.[8]

Bush won a majority of the 100 counties and congressional districts. The only region in the state that Kerry dominated in was the Northeastern black belt, the location of North Carolina's 1st congressional district. However, Kerry did narrowly flip two heavily populated counties, Mecklenburg and Guilford, which have gone on to give Democrats over 55% of the vote in every subsequent election as of 2020. He also cut Bush's margin in another heavily populated county, Wake, from 7.1% to 2.1%. As of 2020, Wake has gone on to give Democrats over 55% of the vote in every subsequent election save 2012. Large Democratic margins in these counties have been instrumental to making North Carolina competitive in every election from 2008 onward.

As of the 2020 presidential election, this is the last election in which Pitt County, Forsyth County, Wilson County, Wake County, Buncombe County, and Cumberland County voted for a Republican presidential candidate.[9]

As of 2020, this is the last election in which a presidential candidate won North Carolina by double digits, as well as the last time the state was not seriously contested.

Results

2004 United States presidential election in North Carolina
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican George W. Bush Richard Cheney 1,961,166 56.02% 15
Democratic John Kerry John Edwards 1,525,849 43.58% 0
Libertarian Michael Badnarik Richard Campagna 11,731 0.34% 0
Others N/A N/A 2,261 0.06% 0
Totals 3,501,007 100% 15
Voter turnout (Voting Age population) 55.4%

Results by county

County George W. Bush
Republican
John Kerry
Democratic
Michael Badnarik
Libertarian
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin
% # % # % # % # % #
Yadkin 77.16% 11,816 22.54% 3,451 0.27% 42 0.03% 4 54.63% 8,365
Avery 75.47% 5,678 23.99% 1,805 0.39% 29 0.16% 12 51.48% 3,873
Davie 74.17% 12,372 25.38% 4,233 0.40% 66 0.05% 9 48.79% 8,139
Randolph 74.19% 37,771 25.47% 12,966 0.33% 170 0.01% 3 48.72% 24,805
Mitchell 72.92% 5,686 26.67% 2,080 0.40% 31 0.01% 1 46.24% 3,606
Davidson 70.72% 42,075 28.89% 17,191 0.34% 203 0.05% 27 41.82% 24,884
Wilkes 70.70% 19,197 28.95% 7,862 0.30% 82 0.05% 13 41.74% 11,335
Union 70.20% 42,820 29.47% 17,974 0.28% 169 0.06% 38 40.73% 24,846
Alexander 70.05% 10,928 29.60% 4,618 0.33% 52 0.01% 2 40.45% 6,310
Stokes 69.96% 13,583 29.71% 5,767 0.29% 56 0.04% 8 40.26% 7,816
Stanly 69.71% 17,814 29.94% 7,650 0.34% 86 0.01% 3 39.78% 10,164
Onslow 69.45% 25,890 30.18% 11,250 0.33% 122 0.04% 15 39.27% 14,640
Carteret 69.27% 17,716 30.23% 7,732 0.39% 100 0.11% 27 39.04% 9,984
Iredell 67.88% 38,675 31.71% 18,065 0.26% 148 0.15% 85 36.18% 20,610
Johnston 67.89% 36,903 31.76% 17,266 0.23% 123 0.12% 65 36.13% 19,637
Gaston 67.84% 43,252 31.77% 20,254 0.33% 208 0.06% 41 36.07% 22,998
Lincoln 67.79% 20,052 31.89% 9,434 0.30% 88 0.02% 5 35.90% 10,618
Surry 67.66% 17,587 31.95% 8,304 0.39% 101 0.00% 0 35.71% 9,283
Caldwell 67.58% 21,186 31.90% 9,999 0.35% 111 0.17% 52 35.69% 11,187
Graham 67.54% 2,693 31.90% 1,272 0.53% 21 0.03% 1 35.64% 1,421
Catawba 67.48% 39,602 32.13% 18,858 0.31% 182 0.08% 46 35.35% 20,744
Rowan 67.32% 34,915 32.27% 16,735 0.36% 187 0.06% 30 35.05% 18,180
Cherokee 67.12% 7,517 32.46% 3,635 0.37% 41 0.05% 6 34.66% 3,882
Currituck 66.99% 6,013 32.41% 2,909 0.59% 53 0.01% 1 34.58% 3,104
Cabarrus 67.05% 40,780 32.56% 19,803 0.37% 224 0.03% 17 34.49% 20,977
Rutherford 66.28% 16,343 33.19% 8,184 0.51% 126 0.02% 5 33.09% 8,159
McDowell 66.18% 10,590 33.31% 5,330 0.40% 64 0.11% 18 32.87% 5,260
Clay 65.95% 3,209 33.46% 1,628 0.51% 25 0.08% 4 32.49% 1,581
Henderson 64.82% 28,025 34.70% 15,003 0.40% 172 0.08% 34 30.12% 13,022
Camden 64.75% 2,480 34.96% 1,339 0.18% 7 0.10% 4 29.79% 1,141
Moore 64.39% 24,714 35.32% 13,555 0.26% 98 0.04% 15 29.07% 11,159
Harnett 64.24% 20,922 35.50% 11,563 0.24% 79 0.02% 7 28.73% 9,359
Beaufort 63.68% 12,432 35.99% 7,025 0.30% 58 0.04% 7 27.70% 5,407
Macon 62.89% 9,448 36.53% 5,489 0.43% 65 0.15% 22 26.35% 3,959
Craven 62.44% 23,575 37.13% 14,019 0.36% 136 0.07% 26 25.31% 9,556
Wayne 62.14% 24,883 37.65% 15,076 0.18% 71 0.04% 16 24.49% 9,807
Ashe 61.68% 7,292 37.87% 4,477 0.46% 54 0.00% 0 23.81% 2,815
Burke 61.51% 18,922 38.12% 11,728 0.36% 110 0.01% 2 23.39% 7,194
Alamance 61.47% 33,302 38.18% 20,686 0.29% 157 0.06% 30 23.29% 12,616
Cleveland 61.36% 22,750 38.34% 14,215 0.25% 93 0.06% 21 23.02% 8,535
Rockingham 61.09% 22,840 38.60% 14,430 0.24% 89 0.08% 29 22.49% 8,410
Pamlico 60.93% 3,679 38.67% 2,335 0.33% 20 0.07% 4 22.26% 1,344
Lee 60.55% 11,834 39.18% 7,657 0.27% 52 0.00% 0 21.37% 4,177
Brunswick 60.37% 22,925 39.24% 14,903 0.34% 130 0.05% 19 21.12% 8,022
Transylvania 60.21% 9,386 39.11% 6,097 0.58% 90 0.10% 15 21.10% 3,289
Dare 60.10% 9,345 39.46% 6,136 0.40% 62 0.03% 5 20.64% 3,209
Perquimans 59.80% 2,965 39.75% 1,971 0.40% 20 0.04% 2 20.05% 994
Alleghany 59.73% 2,883 39.82% 1,922 0.37% 18 0.08% 4 19.91% 961
Person 58.98% 8,973 40.74% 6,198 0.27% 41 0.01% 2 18.24% 2,775
Pender 58.75% 10,037 40.97% 6,999 0.26% 45 0.02% 4 17.78% 3,038
Greene 58.71% 3,800 41.18% 2,665 0.11% 7 0.00% 0 17.54% 1,135
Nash 58.14% 21,902 41.66% 15,693 0.18% 66 0.03% 12 16.48% 6,209
Duplin 57.96% 9,611 41.75% 6,923 0.25% 41 0.05% 8 16.21% 2,688
Jones 57.77% 2,607 41.95% 1,893 0.27% 12 0.02% 1 15.82% 714
Polk 56.98% 5,140 41.98% 3,787 0.99% 89 0.06% 5 15.00% 1,353
Montgomery 56.99% 5,745 42.79% 4,313 0.19% 19 0.03% 3 14.21% 1,432
Sampson 56.53% 12,600 43.29% 9,649 0.17% 38 0.00% 1 13.24% 2,951
Haywood 56.09% 14,545 43.33% 11,237 0.44% 113 0.14% 37 12.76% 3,308
New Hanover 55.82% 45,351 43.78% 35,572 0.37% 302 0.03% 22 12.04% 9,779
Lenoir 55.82% 12,939 44.04% 10,207 0.13% 31 0.01% 2 11.79% 2,732
Franklin 55.17% 11,540 44.39% 9,286 0.34% 72 0.10% 20 10.78% 2,254
Chowan 55.09% 2,967 44.67% 2,406 0.24% 13 0.00% 0 10.42% 561
Madison 54.69% 5,175 44.74% 4,234 0.56% 53 0.01% 1 9.94% 941
Forsyth 54.12% 75,294 45.53% 63,340 0.35% 491 0.00% 0 8.59% 11,954
Hyde 53.86% 1,235 45.70% 1,048 0.39% 9 0.04% 1 8.16% 187
Tyrrell 53.77% 855 45.97% 731 0.25% 4 0.00% 0 7.80% 124
Pitt 53.30% 28,590 46.46% 24,924 0.20% 108 0.04% 21 6.83% 3,666
Wilson 53.26% 16,264 46.52% 14,206 0.20% 60 0.02% 5 6.74% 2,058
Watauga 52.64% 12,659 46.70% 11,232 0.56% 135 0.10% 24 5.93% 1,427
Yancey 52.38% 4,940 47.02% 4,434 0.36% 34 0.24% 23 5.37% 506
Jackson 51.86% 7,351 47.53% 6,737 0.54% 76 0.07% 10 4.33% 614
Cumberland 51.60% 49,139 48.08% 45,788 0.26% 247 0.05% 52 3.52% 3,351
Caswell 51.58% 4,868 48.10% 4,539 0.23% 22 0.08% 8 3.49% 329
Swain 51.47% 2,593 48.02% 2,419 0.50% 25 0.02% 1 3.45% 174
Granville 51.02% 9,491 48.69% 9,057 0.24% 44 0.05% 9 2.33% 434
Martin 51.03% 5,334 48.81% 5,102 0.13% 14 0.02% 2 2.22% 232
Wake 50.83% 177,324 48.71% 169,909 0.39% 1,353 0.07% 258 2.13% 7,415
Columbus 50.84% 10,773 48.81% 10,343 0.30% 63 0.06% 12 2.03% 430
Buncombe 49.99% 52,491 49.39% 51,868 0.48% 501 0.15% 153 0.59% 623
Bladen 50.14% 6,174 49.61% 6,109 0.24% 29 0.01% 1 0.53% 65
Chatham 49.73% 12,892 49.75% 12,897 0.44% 115 0.07% 18 -0.02% -5
Guilford 49.30% 98,254 50.19% 100,042 0.42% 836 0.09% 182 -0.90% -1,788
Hoke 48.66% 5,527 51.01% 5,794 0.27% 31 0.05% 6 -2.35% -267
Pasquotank 48.42% 6,609 51.17% 6,984 0.40% 54 0.01% 1 -2.75% -375
Mecklenburg 48.00% 155,084 51.63% 166,828 0.31% 988 0.06% 202 -3.63% -11,744
Richmond 47.75% 7,709 51.92% 8,383 0.19% 30 0.14% 23 -4.17% -674
Gates 47.47% 1,924 52.33% 2,121 0.17% 7 0.02% 1 -4.86% -197
Robeson 46.97% 15,909 52.75% 17,868 0.21% 72 0.06% 22 -5.78% -1,959
Washington 45.40% 2,484 54.27% 2,969 0.22% 12 0.11% 6 -8.86% -485
Scotland 44.52% 5,141 55.30% 6,386 0.16% 18 0.02% 2 -10.78% -1,245
Vance 43.91% 6,884 55.89% 8,762 0.20% 31 0.00% 0 -11.98% -1,878
Halifax 41.17% 8,088 58.68% 11,528 0.13% 26 0.03% 5 -17.51% -3,440
Anson 41.15% 3,796 58.68% 5,413 0.16% 15 0.01% 1 -17.53% -1,617
Bertie 38.06% 3,057 61.48% 4,938 0.44% 35 0.02% 2 -23.42% -1,881
Edgecombe 38.73% 8,163 61.09% 12,877 0.17% 36 0.01% 3 -22.36% -4,714
Hertford 36.18% 2,942 63.22% 5,141 0.52% 42 0.09% 7 -27.04% -2,199
Northampton 36.21% 3,176 63.67% 5,584 0.08% 7 0.03% 3 -27.46% -2,408
Warren 35.38% 2,840 64.42% 5,171 0.11% 9 0.09% 7 -29.04% -2,331
Orange 32.38% 20,771 66.89% 42,910 0.53% 338 0.21% 134 -34.51% -22,139
Durham 31.57% 34,614 67.96% 74,524 0.35% 381 0.12% 132 -36.40% -39,910

Counties that flipped from Democratic to Republican

Counties that flipped from Republican to Democratic

By congressional district

Bush won 9 of 13 congressional districts.[10]

District Bush Kerry Representative
1st 42% 57% G. K. Butterfield
2nd 54% 46% Bob Etheridge
3rd 68% 32% Walter B. Jones
4th 44% 55% David Price
5th 66% 33% Richard Burr
Virginia Foxx
6th 69% 30% Howard Coble
7th 56% 44% Mike McIntyre
8th 54% 45% Robin Hayes
9th 63% 36% Sue Wilkins Myrick
10th 67% 33% Cass Ballenger
Patrick T. McHenry
11th 57% 43% Charles H. Taylor
12th 37% 63% Mel Watt
13th 47% 52% Brad Miller

Electors

Main article: List of 2004 United States presidential electors

Technically the voters of North Carolina cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. North Carolina is allocated 15 electors because it has 13 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 15 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and his or her running mate. Whoever wins the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 15 electoral votes. Their chosen electors then vote for president and vice president. Although electors are pledged to their candidate and running mate, they are not obligated to vote for them. An elector who votes for someone other than his or her candidate is known as a faithless elector.

The electors of each state and the District of Columbia met on December 13, 2004, to cast their votes for president and vice president. The Electoral College itself never meets as one body. Instead the electors from each state and the District of Columbia met in their respective capitols.

The following were the members of the Electoral College from the state. All were pledged to and voted for Bush/Cheney:

  1. Joseph W. Powell
  2. Ann Sullivan
  3. William B. Carraway
  4. Sandra Carter
  5. William H. Trotter
  6. Thomas D. Luckadoo
  7. Judy Keener
  8. Marcia M. Spiegel
  9. Dewitt Rhoades
  10. Davey G. Williamson
  11. Theresa Esposito
  12. Elizabeth Kelly
  13. Larry W. Potts
  14. Joe Morgan
  15. Robert Rector

References

  1. ^ "Archived copy". dcpoliticalreport.com. Archived from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Election 2004 Polls - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Archived from the original on 2008-11-28. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
  3. ^ "George W Bush - $374,659,453 raised, '04 election cycle, Republican Party, President". www.campaignmoney.com.
  4. ^ "John F Kerry - $345,826,176 raised, '04 election cycle, Democratic Party, President". www.campaignmoney.com.
  5. ^ "CNN.com Specials". www.cnn.com.
  6. ^ "CNN.com Specials". www.cnn.com.
  7. ^ "USATODAY.com - Poll: Edwards pick gives Kerry's campaign a boost". www.usatoday.com.
  8. ^ "RealClear Politics - Polls". www.realclearpolitics.com.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  10. ^ "Presidential Results by Congressional District, 2000-2008 – Swing State Project". www.swingstateproject.com.