in north carolina, obama's black voters and young voters and educated voters are strong.
cnn: Since the beginning of January, nearly 65,000 new voters between the ages of 18 and 24 have registered in the state as Democrats or unaffiliated voters. More than 67,000 new African-American voters have registered over the same period.
The metrics don't bode well for a Clinton victory.
"It would take a monumental event in next two weeks for that to happen," said Jerry Meek, chairman of the North Carolina Democratic Party. "But can she shave an Obama victory to five or six points? Possibly."
African-Americans are expected to make up around 40 percent of the primary electorate, giving Obama a healthy starting point in his chase for a large share of the state's 115 pledged delegates.
Obama should capture votes in the Research Triangle, a thriving swath of counties in and around the Raleigh-Durham area filled with highly-educated tech workers and medical researchers.
North Carolina also happens to be sandwiched between two demographically similar states -- Virginia and South Carolina -- that already held nominating contests, exposing thousands of Tar Heels to campaign advertising and news coverage of two Obama blowout victories in January and February.
so how is hillary going to cut into obama's lead?
hmmmmm. republicans to the rescue!
time: An old right-wing attack dog has returned with a new target: Barack Obama.
Starting Tuesday, a group of conservative activists led by Floyd Brown, author of the famous Willie Horton ad used so effectively against Michael Dukakis in 1988, will begin a campaign to tar Obama as weak on crime and terrorism, a strategy that aims to upend Obama's relatively strong reputation among Republican voters.
"The campaign by Hillary Clinton has not been able to raise Obama's negatives," said Brown on Monday. "It is absolutely critical that Obama's negatives go up with Republicans."
Brown says the initial effort, a 60-second spot called "Victims" will be aired later this month in North Carolina and e-mailed to between 3 and 7 million conservatives this week, with a plea for more funding to further spread the message. "All of the efforts I have ever done in my life have been significantly funded," Brown claimed, though he declined to describe the size of the purchase. "This is going to be the most Internet-intensive effort for an ad debut ever."
The new ad recounts the deaths of three Chicago residents in 2001 at the hands of criminal gangs. "That same year, a Chicago state senator named Barack Obama voted against expanding the death penalty for gang-related murders," an ominous female narrator intones. "So the question is, can a man so weak in the war on gangs be trusted in the war on terror?"
Brown is funding the initial ad campaign through a political action committee called the National Campaign Fund, which had $14,027 in the bank at the end of March. Brown said he had established several other front groups to fund a long-range effort to erode Obama's support, including a second PAC, called The Legacy Committee, a 527 organization called Citizens for a Safe and Prosperous America and a so-called "social welfare" 501(c)4 nonprofit called the Policy Issues Institute.
john mccain, reportedly, has denounced the ads, set to run, for playing on racial antagonisms, according to npr.
In an e-mail to state GOP chairwoman Linda Daves, McCain said the advertisement was "offensive" and urged party leaders to withhold the ad.
"I don't know why they do it," McCain told reporters on his campaign bus Wednesday in Kentucky. "Obviously, I don't control them, but I'm making it very clear, as I have a couple of times in the past, that there's no place for that kind of campaigning, and the American people don't want it."
McCain said he hasn't seen the ad but it has been described to him, "and I hope that I don't see it."
The advertisement raises the specter of Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright, beginning with a photo of Obama and Wright together and a clip of Wright's contentious remarks about America.
"He's just too extreme for North Carolina," the narrator says in the 30-second spot.
Daves said the ad presents a question of patriotism and judgment.
"It is entirely appropriate for voters to evaluate candidates based on their past associations," she said.
The ad will begin running statewide on Monday, a week before the state's crucial May 6 primary.
GOP spokesman Brent Woodcox argued that despite the ad's overwhelming focus on Obama, the spot is targeted at Democratic gubernatorial candidates Richard Moore and Bev Perdue, who have both endorsed the Illinois senator.
"We have a great relation with the RNC and we fully support John McCain for president," Woodcox said. "But this is an ad about two North Carolina candidates for governor. The ad is going to run."
Asked about the ad during an appearance in New Albany, Ind., Obama said: "My understanding is that the Republican National Committee and John McCain have both said that the ad's inappropriate.