McCrory Didn’t Lose Because HB 2 Was a “Social Issue”

December 5, 2016

by Frank Cannon


Today, North Carolina’s Republican Gov. Pat McCrory announced he would be conceding the state’s gubernatorial race to Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper, bringing an end to several weeks of recounts and investigations into alleged cases of voter fraud.

Despite his defeat, conservatives should applaud Gov. Pat McCrory for standing up for what is right. He refused to back down from corporate bullies and progressive lynch mobs, and because of his steadfastness, he became Public Enemy Number Two this election cycle for the Left. Ultimately, they got their scalp only by the narrowest of margins.

While McCrory’s defeat is disappointing, there are several positives to take away from the North Carolina governor’s race for conservatives:

1.) McCrory came very close to winning despite being outspent by nearly $8 million. He was less than 10,000 votes away from withstanding an outright blitzkrieg of hate from corporate America, the sports-entertainment complex, and Hollywood celebrities.

2.) Make no mistake, the Left recognized that they couldn’t defend Charlotte’s radical ordinance on its merits. Instead, they turned HB 2 into an economic issue by convincing elite corporations, sports leagues, and celebrities to punish the state of North Carolina for protecting the privacy of young girls. This branding effort, which focused on the consequences of keeping HB 2 amidst blackmail from corporate and entertainment elites, created a phenomenon where HB 2 became toxic to a majority of voters, while voters still supported the substance of HB 2. Had the Left not recognized the weakness of fighting HB 2 as a social issue, instead turning it into an economic issue, Cooper would have surely lost.

3.) McCrory didn’t lose on a “social issue.” McCrory lost because progressives rallied their base — corporate America and Hollywood celebrities — to blackmail the state of North Carolina with the loss of jobs and economic stability, and enough understandably scared voters buckled to put Cooper over the top. Let the post-mortem think pieces reflect that fact.

Republicans must keep fighting because, while the Left was able to successfully define HB 2 as an economic issue and convince elite corporations and celebrities to punish the state of North Carolina for protecting the privacy of young girls, their overreach clearly backfired in the presidential race in a big way in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and yes, even North Carolina.

Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles Project.


Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles Project and a veteran conservative political strategist.

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