Based on the primary election for the gubernatorial nominations, both Bev Perdue (Democrat) and Pat McCrory (Republican) had very specific regions and areas that they were able to get at least 55% of the vote in a county. For many political scientists, when a candidate gets 55% of the vote, it's a clear indication of strength in numbers and percentages.
When looking at the counties where Perdue got 55% of the vote, it matches up with her home base, mostly in the "down east" counties of North Carolina. But you'll also notice in the PDF file that she did well in the I-85/40 corridor, starting in Mecklenburg County (home to Charlotte and Pat McCrory) through Forsyth (Winston-Salem) and Guilford (Greensboro) to Durham and Wake counties (Durham and Raleigh).
Looking at the counties where McCrory got 55% of the vote, it is so clear where his strength is, and that is with the Charlotte media/metro market. I also note where Fred Smith (the yellow counties in the PDF file), who was battling with McCrory in the primary, got his strength, and that was downeast as well.
A new poll from Public Policy Polling out of Raleigh has come out, and I'm still working on digesting it, but it appears that both Perdue and McCrory are tied at 45-45, with 9% undecided. While it is still 176 days until Nov. 4 at this writing, the Tar Heel governor's race will be one of the most closely battled, and probably watched, races. Stay tuned.