Charlotte, where Democrats convene for 2012, was a key to Barack Obama’s North Carolina victory in 2008. He was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since 1976, but before that, North Carolina supported Democrats for president in almost every election from the Civil War to the 1960s. Although John McCain carried more counties, the state’s large urban areas gave Obama a bigger boost. In just four urban counties, Obama built a 280,000-vote margin over McCain, going on to win the Tar Heel State by a mere 14,000 votes out of 4.3 million cast. Read related article.