There were also slimmer margins in Guilford, Forsyth and Buncombe counties.
Obamas 100,200-vote margin in Mecklenburg was up but only by 100 votes. Only Durham County recorded a big jump Obama won there by almost 5,000 more votes than in 2008.
Said Taylor: From now on, if youre a Democratic presidential candidate in North Carolina, youre going to have to really ramp up the margins in those (urban) counties to offset the losses in rural areas and small towns.
4. Back-burner battleground
The Obama campaign initially had such high hopes of carrying North Carolina again that, last year, the president chose Charlotte as site for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
But by the time delegates came to town in September, the Obama campaign appeared to be nudging North Carolina onto the back-burner.
The presidents people were still buying TV time on Charlotte and Raleigh stations, and would continue to send in Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama.
But it became increasingly clear that the likely tipping states in the fight over electoral votes were elsewhere Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado and, most fiercely, Ohio.
So Obama came to Charlotte to give his acceptance speech, but never set foot in the state after that. Bad weather during convention week doomed the campaigns grand plan to have 65,000 Tar Heels witness Obamas acceptance speech at Bank of America Stadium. The campaign hinted that hed make it up to those disappointed supporters before Election Day by coming back. He never did.
Most national pundits and media outlets pooh-poohed assurances from Obama campaign organizers that North Carolina was still a priority and began shading the state red on their electoral maps.
5. Fewer white votes
Tuesdays voting results held some good news for North Carolina Democrats hoping to keep the state competitive in future election years.
Black voters, who make up 22 percent of the states population, cast 23 percent of the vote and went for Obama 96 percent to 4 percent, according to exit polls.
And Latinos went for Obama 68 percent to 31 percent. Youre talking 2-1 in a group thats getting to be a bigger part of this state, said Bitzer.
But exit polls also said this: White voters, who now represent 70 percent of the states electorate, were even less supportive of the president than in 2008.
That year, 35 percent of white voters in North Carolina cast their ballots for Obama.
In 2012, he got 31 percent.