Hillary Clinton announced this week she will be running for president and wasted little time starting her campaign in Iowa.
North Carolina is expected to be a battleground state for the former Secretary of State and a recent poll shows she has work to do here winning over voters.
David McClennan is a political science professor at Meredith College in Raleigh and says Clinton’s approval numbers in North Carolina are 50/50 going into the campaign.
“Half of likely voters say they have a problem with Hillary Clinton,” McClennan said
“Minorities like single women in urban are not as strong for Clinton as they were for Obama back in 2008.”
Clinton lost North Carolina to President Obama in the Democratic primary in 2008. McClennan said older voters have a seasoned perspective of Clinton, but this campaign is an opportunity for her to reach out to a new generation.
“Hillary Clinton needs to rebrand herself in North Carolina for those groups who are not already very polarized about her,” he said.
“People are kind of extreme in their views about her, either people like her or very much dislike her.”
Clinton joins Republican senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in the presidential race. McClennan said North Carolina is a good indicator of the South- if not the United States- but will not automatically make or break her chances.
“She would need to run well in Virginia and Florida, but as right as North Carolina is, if she could win it then it would make her road to the presidency quite a bite easier.”