North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's election strategy seems apparent now, two weeks after the election. He is determined to win the election by taking it out of the hands of voters and giving the Republican-dominated state legislature the power to determine the election victor.
Democratic challenger Roy Cooper leads McCrory by more than 6,000 votes — a margin that has grown as county election boards continue to count absentee and provisional ballots. McCrory's campaign has challenged voting in more than half the state's counties. Thus far, each challenge has been rejected by Republican-dominated county boards of election. Still, McCrory and his soldiers persist in claiming the election isn't settled until every complaint is heard and every vote counted a second time. This week, he called for a recount, even though the first count remains incomplete.
The secret weapon of an incumbent governor in danger of losing an election is an obscure provision in the state constitution giving the legislature the final authority to determine an election victor when electoral squabbles drag on and the election results remain contested. If McCrory and his crew can drag out the vote count just a few more weeks, the General Assembly, with veto-proof Republican majorities in both chambers, can declare McCrory the winner, no matter what the vote totals say.