As the nation turns its attention to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week, we got to thinking about North Carolina, a state that went to Barack Obama in 2008 by a razor-thin 14,000-vote margin.

But that was then and this, as Upper Room Church of God In Christ’s Rev. Patrick Wooden (left) reminds us, is now: “I hope as many African Americans as possible are offended by his position,” Wooden told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I hope that even if they don’t vote for his opponent, they just leave that part of the ballot empty,”

The stakes are high: North Carolina, which brings 15 electorate votes to the table, is one of only a handful of states in play in what has been a remarkably stable election year contest. (The latest polls have Romney and Obama running neck-and-neck.)

Will African-Americans people, critical to an Obama victory, turn on the man who made history by becoming the nation’s first black President—even if, four years later, the sheen has worn off?

Even a small tapering off of black voters could have disastrous consequences for the President. “To win, Obama needs 80% of blacks to support him—and 80% to turn out,” say Michael Munger, a  political-science professor at Duke. “Even if it only muffles black enthusiasm, Obama hurt himself with his same-sex marriage stand.”

Equality as an albatross around the President’s neck in 2012. Who’da thunk it?

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