Friday, October 5, 2012

NC races to watch as the days dwindle down to a precious few. Election 2012 is upon us.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster / October 6, 2012



Posted by Mike Cooper  The Clog / Wed Oct 3, 2012 

No doubt you are sick of the endless television advertisements, misguiding campaign mailers, soulless fundraising emails, and the traffic when Vice President Joe Biden or vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan come to town.

But bear with it at least until November: North Carolina is that much more important since it's a contested swing state. As we enter October, here is what to watch for in state politics, assuming you can pry yourself away from horror movie marathons:

Dalton vs. McCrory, is there any hope?
Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory has consistently maintained a sizeable, usually double-digit, lead in the governor's race over his Democratic opponent Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton. The latest numbers from Public Policy Polling have McCrory up 47 percent to 37 percent.

Depressing, but not surprising. Gov. Beverly Perdue put Dalton in a tough spot when she waited until the last minute to decide not to run again, giving his campaign a late, awkward start. McCrory hasn't stopped running since Perdue beat him four years ago. He has successfully tied Dalton to her immensely unpopular administration and the supposed Democratic corruption in Raleigh going back to former Gov. Mike Easley. 

Independent voters and cross-over Democrats seem to be rewarding McCrory for his ability to propose bold ideas like off-shore drilling, fracking and charter schools, even if they do not entirely agree with them.

Dalton has offered fewer new ideas and has run a more comfortable establishment campaign that the state's progressive community has never fully embraced. This strategy has held back his fundraising from smaller donors and grassroots support in the field.

But Dalton does have a solid and hard hitting new ad out where African-American leaders take McCrory to task for supporting a voter ID bill. According to Public Policy Polling, McCrory has been receiving more of the black vote in North Carolina than Romney, and this ad and the recent endorsement of Charlotte's Black Political Caucus may help Dalton in the home stretch.


Some key U.S. House races

A string of bad news has plagued Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell in the nearby 8th Congressional District. He skipped the Democratic National Convention and received bad press because of it. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has pulled out their advertising money, which might mean they've given up on his chances of reelection.

But after 2010, Kissell has proved that he's a survivor, and the National Rifle Organization (of all organizations) has just endorsed him.

At least he is not tarnishing his political career by trying to save it, the way that fellow Congressman Mike McIntyre is doing right now.

McIntyre has a new ad out attacking his Republican opponent David Rouzer for "supporting amnesty for illiegal immigrants" and blames undocumented immigrants for "stealing our jobs." That's an awfully low position to stoop to for an incumbent Democrat, and it smacks of the type of immigrant bashing ad you'd have seen in 2002, not 2012. 

Like Kissell, McIntyre is running in a district that has been redrawn to favor conservatives. But there are ways to appeal to those voters - using values and tradition - without slinging borderline racist rhetoric.


Which presidential campaign has the better ground game in North Carolina?
The polls have \Romney and President Barack Obama running neck and neck in the Tar Heel State, with things looking like they will come down to the wire. Romney is reported to be benefiting from a "Debate Bounce" after Denver.

If Romney loses states like Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and Pennsylvania - and it's looking like he will - it probably won't matter what happens here. That North Carolina even matters is a sign of how poorly Romney's doing because the only time before 2008 that a Democratic presidential candidate won the Tar Heel state was Jimmy Carter back in 1976. 

Should Romney can turn things around in the campaign's waning days, his comeback will probably start here in North Carolina. Obama still has much of the same organization in North Carolina that carried him to victory four years ago, with offices from the mountains to the coast.

But the state Republican party decided long ago they weren't going to be caught off guard this time. According to their spokesman Rob Lockwood, Republican volunteers have knocked on 100 times as many doors than at this time in 2008 and made 20 times the amount of phone calls. Their efforts could make a huge difference in a state where the race is so close.
Mecklenburg County will undoubtedly go for Obama. The question will be whether Obama's Organizing for America operation can turnout enough young and minority voters to offset Republican advantages in more rural parts of the state.

http://clclt.com/theclog/archives/2012/10/03/races-to-watch-leading-up-to-election-day

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Dalton vs. McCrory, is there any hope?
Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory has consistently maintained a sizeable, usually double-digit, lead in the governor's race over his Democratic opponent Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton. The latest numbers from Public Policy Polling have McCrory up 47 percent to 37 percent.