The member of the North Carolina House who was manager for the bill has a different story [emphasis in the original]:
As the House member handling Senate Bill 353, which purported to allocate North Carolina’s electoral votes by Congressional district, with two votes reflecting the North Carolina’s popular vote, I moved this bill back to House Election Laws Committee after a successful vote on 2nd reading on the House floor but before the final vote on 3rd reading. The reason is NOT because of Howard Dean’s call, but rather because we did not have the votes to pass the bill on 3rd reading. Several Democrats who supported the bill on 2nd reading indicated to me they received tremendous pressure from constituents to change their vote to NO on 3rd reading. There were enough Democrats changing their positions to shift the balance against the bill’s passage. By moving the bill back to committee, we enable the House to consider it during the short session.
This should make it clear just how close this is to passing. Therefore we should continue to push in California and push the grassroots in North Carolina to push back on this. Let’s make it clear that a vote for this bill is a vote for Hillary Clinton.
And the situation in Caifornia is becoming increasingly interesting. The Christian Science Monitor has a story, and it looks like they are focusing on the June ballot:
In California, the measure’s passage would probably be determined by voter turnout, and that could favor Republicans, experts say.
"The state will have just voted in February, and there is no US Senate race so June turnout will likely be low, which works against the Democrats," says Quinn. Democrats, who usually argue for more fairness in elections and the end of the electoral college system, are in a quandary over how to fight this, he says.
"The Democrats are being hoisted on their own petards," says Quinn. "They say, ‘Let’s make elections fairer,’ and Republicans are saying, ‘Okay, let’s do it this way,’ and Democrats are beside themselves because they know what it will likely do."