As the GOP field begins to winnow, the top contenders for the Republican nomination have had their eyes on our own state of North Carolina.
This week, Dr. Ben Carson, currently in second place according to a just-released NBC/ WSJ poll, will be visiting Randleman and Winston-Salem to meet and greet North Carolinians. Donald Trump, still at the number one spot according to the same poll, also visited North Carolina to fund raise just last month. Jeb Bush was in Greensboro just three weeks ago. And Marco Rubio, who just shot up to third place in the NBC/WSJ poll, gave his stump speech to over a hundred people packed into a restaurant in a town outside of Charlotte last week. (Read NC Capitol Connection's full account of the Rubio event here.)
So why are the top candidates so focused on North Carolina? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that according to a new bill on the governor's desk for signature, NC has 72 delegates to offer. In order to win the GOP nomination and stand victorious at the convention next July, a candidate will need 1,235 delegates, making our 72 quite a chunk out of what they need to procure. In fact, this is a larger number than many other states with larger populations have to offer, making North Carolina a strategic state for the GOP primary.