Roy Cooper Wins NC Governor’s Race, ‘Game Over’ For Pat McCrory’s Attempt To Steal Election (TWEETS)

One of the few bright spots for the Democrats on Election Night came from my state of North Carolina. Specifically, the governor’s race. Democratic state attorney general Roy Cooper nosed out Republican incumbent Pat McCrory, but the margin appeared large enough that Cooper claimed victory. McCrory, however, refused to concede, and claimed Cooper had only won due to voter fraud. From the looks of it, McCrory was trying to steal a second term by way of a little-known state law that would have allowed the Republican-dominated state legislature to declare him the winner.

However, it looks like that gambit has failed. While Cooper led on Election Night by just over 5,000 votes, that margin has steadily increased as the state’s 100 counties report their results. Late Wednesday afternoon, an update on the North Carolina State Board of Elections Website showed Cooper leading McCrory, 49.02 percent to 48.8 percent–a difference of 10,257 votes.

The raw vote margin is the more critical figure. Under North Carolina state law, if the margin in a statewide election race is fewer than 10,000 votes, the trailing candidate has the right to request a recount. As of Wednesday night, all but four counties have finished canvassing votes. While McCrory leads big in these four counties, only one of them–Craven County, home to New Bern–has more than 60,000 people. For that reason, Democratic strategist and former North Carolina Democratic Party executive director Scott Falmlen thinks this lead will hold.

The Cooper campaign estimated that Cooper leads by 10,329 votes as of late Wednesday afternoon–a mere 72-vote difference from the state’s total. What is beyond dispute, however, is that McCrory is running out of options to prolong this election battle. Cooper campaign manager Troy Nix reminded McCrory of just how dire his position is at this point.

“Roy Cooper’s lead has now grown to over 10,000 votes. Game over. It’s time for Governor McCrory to concede. It’s clear there is no path to victory for Governor McCrory. It’s time for Governor McCrory to accept the election results and respect the will of the voters.”

In case McCrory didn’t get the hint, the North Carolina Democratic Party has spent most of Wednesday afternoon making sure he gets it.

Party chairwoman Patsy Keever called for McCrory to “accept the will of the people,” and openly looked forward to helping “Governor-Elect Cooper” in his effort to “build a better North Carolina.”

Even as it appeared that his fate was sealed, McCrory and his team haven’t given up as of yet. On Wednesday afternoon, a Republican lawyer persuaded the state board to recount votes in heavily Democratic Durham County. Cooper took the lead on Election Night on the strength of 90,000 votes being added to his total from Durham County, and most observers don’t believe that a recount will change the overall result. McCrory himself suggested he wouldn’t pursue a statewide recount if the state board ordered a recount in Durham County.

However, it doesn’t change the fact that McCrory’s Trumpian effort to suggest he lost due to voter fraud has largely failed. On Monday, the state board ordered the dismissal of all county-level challenges to voter eligibility, effectively cutting the legs out from under McCrory’s claims of voter fraud. As devastating as that announcement was, the news that Cooper has almost certainly taken a lead beyond the threshold for a recount amounts to a mortal blow.

Any sane observer would know that McCrory is finished. Sadly, McCrory doesn’t seem to understand it. Perhaps it’s time to remind him. Drop McCrory a line on Facebook and on Twitter. And while you’re at it, be sure to congratulate Cooper on his well-earned victory. Send him some love on Facebook and on Twitter. He’s going to need all the help he can get in the effort to undo the damage that McCrory and friends have done in the last four years. Hopefully McCrory will concede and let him start on that task.

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.