As you know, the State Board of Elections ordered a recount in a number of Durham County precincts, over the objections of Democratic board members. It was a sham proceeding from start to finish, with the conclusion foregone. Nothing new there.
McCrory has said he would not ask for a statewide recount if the Durham numbers didn't change. However, it's likely that the numbers WILL change by one or two votes, which will give McCrory the wiggle room he needs to claim "something's fishy." That's the central plank of the McCrory strategy, since a coup is the only path to victory for him.
At any point in the process, the SBOE has the authority to declare the election "contested" and toss it to the General Assembly for resolution. That has been their plan all along, and they are on track for that to happen. The SBOE has shown no indication of being anything but another arm of the Art Pope machine. If you think there's no chance they'll declare the election contested, you're kidding yourself. They can do that regardless of how many votes Cooper has, and they can do it with no objective justification whatsoever. If the legislature decides that McCrory won the election, the only recourse if that happens is federal court. That's another political crapshoot.
The only thing we do know at this point is that Art Pope will do anything he possibly can to rig things to get his way. He has invested millions in Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory and he will not go lightly into the night.