DAG McCrory's prognosis: Toast or toasted in victory?

Our pal Bob Geary thinks it's a done deal:

From a progressive standpoint, his record is a disaster made worse—for McCrory's purposes—by the fact that he's so often been a hapless bystander when Republican bills were speeding to enactment. But let's face it. For every voter who thinks Republican policies are killing the state, there's another who thinks the opposite—and who believes that a governor who does nothing is doing what he ought to do.

What will make the difference, I predict, are the host of small scandals and brewing screw-ups that surround McCrory. They will mark him, finally, as the kind of corrupt, Republican-establishment traitor so despised by the angry tea-party crowds backing Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Corrupt and—in Trump lingo—low-energy. Plus, "stupid."

It defies logic, of course. The policies that have harmed so many of our people should be the deciding factor. But as we've seen in the past, NC voters soon forget the pain of their neighbors, but don't forget the stink of corruption and shady dealings. Another strike against McCrory is the loss of crossover votes. The first time around, way too many Democrats (17%?) thought they would be getting moderate, metropolitan Mayor Pat, but that myth is long dead. So is having a lukewarm opponent. Here's a quick test: Without resorting to Google, who was his Democratic opponent? Come on, it was only three years ago! Answer below the fold:

Walter Dalton. I know, you already knew that. ;) I'm not bashing Walter, I think he would have made a damned fine Governor. But he (and many others) spent too much time looking at Bev Perdue's defeat of McCrory in 2008 and not enough time paying attention to the river of money flowing into McCrory's campaign coffers. And as a commenter at the Indy points out, the right-wing money in this election will be even greater:

Weren't many saying that Tillis was toast right up to election day 2014? But we saw what happened and what turned that election, i.e., tons of conservative group "dark money" donations, most from outside NC, and political ads that were egregious lies against Hagan and for Tillis. McCrory will benefit greatly from those same reinforcements.

I'm going to make a prediction: This race is going to be a dead heat. Which means, we have to throw *everything* at it. Massive GOTV effort, and every Benjamin available. We have to assume the GOP is worried they'll lose their Veto-proof majority in the Legislature (House, anyway), and after the Primary, when Brawley loses, they will get behind McCrory whether they like him or not. And the Mystery Men with all their millions will start cranking out television ads to secure that extra 2% they'll need to put their puppet back in the Governor's mansion.