Friday, September 21, 2012

Poll: Obama ahead among N.C. registered voters

A new N.C. poll conducted by High Point University found that President Barack Obama has a slight lead among the state's registered voters.

The survey, released Thursday, found that 46 percent of N.C. registered voters said they would now vote for Democrat Obama. Those favoring Republican Mitt Romney: 43 percent.

That's a reversal of the previous High Point University Poll, in early September, which found Romney ahead of Obama, 46 percent to 43 percent.

In the new poll, participants were also asked whether they approved or disapproved of the way Obama is handling his job as president. Forty-nine percent said they approved; 47 said they disapproved.

The margin of error in the latest poll: 4.7 percent.

-- Tim Funk  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

McCrory 101: Chris Christie's homework

So what does a candidate give a Big Name surrogate who comes to town to campaign for him? How about a crash course on his campaign?

That's what Pat McCrory's campaign is doing for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie, fresh off his star turn as keynoter at the Republican convention, comes to the Charlotte area Thursday for a pair of events. He'll headline an afternoon rally in Salisbury and attend a Charlotte fundraiser for McCrory that night.

According to a draft "talking points" memo, the McCrory campaign wants to make sure Christie knows:

-- McCrory was Charlotte's longest-serving mayor "helped build the arena where the Democrats are holding.... their convention."

--The man who "worked with leaders of both parties to turn Charlotte into an economic powerhouse" wants to reform taxes and reduce regulations to bring jobs.

-- His opponent, Democrat Walter Dalton, "doesn't believe NC's government is broken.... how can he be part of the solution?" Dalton, it says, raised taxes as a state senator and would raise the sales tax. (Dalton has said he would not include a sales tax hike in his first budget, but didn't rule out an eventual hike.)

McCrory's campaign also would offer Christie advice on tax returns. Dalton has pushed for McCrory to release his.

"Pat McCrory's opponent is trying to distract from his record ... by demanding Pat release his personal income tax returns," the memo said. "The only taxes voters are concerned about are the ones Walter Dalton wants to increase on them if elected."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Obama strategist: 'Why pull out?'

A day after Mitt Romney's pollster suggested the Obama campaign is setting the stage for a pullout from North Carolina, an Obama campaign official shot down the idea.

"Put yourself in our shoes," said the official, who asked not to be identified. "Why would you ever pull out of a state where you're tied? A state that is an absolute must-win for Romney."

A poll this week by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm out of Raleigh, showed the race essentially tied in North Carolina. Other polls have given Romney a slight edge.

The Democratic convention helped the Obama campaign sign up thousands of volunteers who put in more than 50,000 hours of volunteer work, the official said. It has 50 field offices in the state. He expects those efforts to pay off.

"We know exactly what we need to do to be successful," he said. "And we have goals every single day to make sure we stay on that roadmap."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Gallup: DNC helped Obama more than RNC helped Romney

New Gallup numbers out today show that President Obama got more support out of last week's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte than Republican Mitt Romney did from his convention in Tampa.

According to Gallup, 43 percent of Americans said they were more likely to support Obama because of the convention. That compares to 40 percent who said they were more likely to vote for Romney after the GOP convention.

Thirty-eight percent said they were less likely to vote for each man after their respective conventions.

Democrats shouldn't be too smug.

In 1988, 56 percent of Americans said they were more likely to vote for Democrat Michael Dukakis after his convention. Only 43 percent said the GOP convention made them more likely to vote for Republican George H.W. Bush. Remember who won that race.

Speaking of numbers, Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm out of Raleigh, is out with a new poll that shows Obama leading Romney 49 percent to 48 percent in North Carolina. That's consistent with other PPP surveys, but contrary to polls by Elon University and others that show Romney with a slight edge in the state.

PPP did find that 57 percent of N.C. voters say the convention was a good thing for the state.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The lonely demonstrator

Outside the Charlotte Convention Center, on a street crowded with Democratic delegates, reporters and button vendors, Lew Powell is waging a quiet, one-man campaign.

In his floppy hat and sunglasses, he stands their holding a hand-stenciled sign that says, "Exonerate Edenton 7."


The Edenton 7 were North Carolinians associated with a day care center called Little Rascals in Edenton. They were prosecuted in the early 1990s over sexual abuse charges in a case that was highly publicized. Some charges were dropped, convictions were later overturned.

What concerns Powell, a former editorial page staffer at the Observer, is that the seven have never been pardoned or officially exonerated. He's taken on the cause virtually single-handedly, even starting a web site about the case.

"The in justice of it just got me," he said, holding his sign on the street. The way the system bullied people who were completely innocent... and no one will admit they were wrong."

So Powell will carry his sign during the convention, hoping to raise at least a little awareness of the case.

"I'm almost 68 years old," he says, "And this is the first time I've ever held a protest sign."

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Paul Ryan going to Greenville Monday

While Democrats continue gathering in Charlotte Monday, half of the Republican ticket will be on the other side of North Carolina.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP's vice presidential nominee, will visit East Carolina University in Greenville, 230 miles away. It will be his third trip to the state since Mitt Romney named him to the ticket last month.

"We're going to make sure the people of North Carolina and America have a response to the fantasyland world that the Democrats will try to portray in Charlotte," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told USA Today.