The first chapter of
Neither Aiken nor the favored candidate among some
If so, the real race begins. Aiken faces an even tougher climb in the suburban Raleigh district where he grew up, which has been drawn specifically to elect a Republican.
But experts were not quick to count the "Golden Ticket" winner out after his swift rise to fame and compelling personal story as an openly gay entertainer from a rough-and-tumble upbringing in North Carolina.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report called Aiken not only "persuasive and politically realistic" when its editors met with him earlier in the campaign cycle, but "just as comfortable" discussing the intricacies of the sweeping 2nd Congressional District he calls home.