Before east vs. west, politics was north vs. south

” ‘North Carolina,’ the Moravian leader August Gottlieb Spangenberg noted in 1752, ‘is a rather large Province, and the conditions of [the] inhabitants varies so greatly that often what is good for the southern part is bad for the northern, and vice versa.’ He went on to complain that this problem led to ‘a continual strife between the two sections.’ ”

— From “Politics and Authority in Colonial North Carolina: A Regional Perspective” by Bradford J. Wood in North Carolina Historical Review (January 2004)

In time, the state’s political axis rotated from north-south to east-west.  A compromise among Democrats in the 1930s and ’40s alternated the governorship between eastern and western candidates.