Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Charlotte candidates meet voters tonight

Charlotte's leading mayoral candidates as well as 20 city council candidates will meet voters tonight at separate events.

-- Democrat Anthony Foxx and Republican John Lassiter have been invited to speak to the Third Ward neighborhood organization. They'll discuss uptown issues from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Gateway YMCA, 900 W. Trade Street, Suite 100. It's unclear whether Republican mayoral candidates Jack Stratton and Martin Davis also will appear.

-- At-large council candidates and those from Districts 1, 4 and 5 will talk about East Charlotte at Hickory Grove Recreation Center Gymnasium, 6709 Pence Rd. The forum starts at 6:30 p.m. The forum is sponsored by Charlotte East Community Partners.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Foxx-Lassiter: Who's ahead depends on the poll

Republican mayoral candidate John Lassiter found some good news in a recent poll. But how good was it?

Cornerstone Solutions, a Raleigh-based polling firm, found that Lassiter leads Democrat Anthony Foxx, 42 percent to 26 percent, with 32 percent undecided. The findings are based on an automated phone survey of 401 Charlotteans.

A poll for Foxx, meanwhile, shows the race a dead heat.

Rule number 1: Be wary of polls done by a campaign for their candidate. Rule number 2: Be wary of all political polls, especially without several to go by and compare.

Cornerstone is a Republican consulting firm that also does polling. "We have no horse in this race," says partner Chris Sinclair of Raleigh.

Foxx campaign manager Bruce Clark questions Cornerstone's methodology. For example, while 34 percent of Charlotte voters are black, less than 14 percent of those in the Cornerstone survey identified themselves as African American. Almost 12 percent refused to disclose their race. Black voters are more likely to vote Democratic.

"Our poll," says Clark, "more accurately represents the breakdown of voters in the city."

Sinclair stands by his sample. He says part of the discrepancy could lie with those who refused to answer the race question. And he says his statisticians weighted the results based on the number of registered voters.

"We weighted it appropriately and feel good about the outcomes," he says.

One advantage of sites like realclearpolitics.com is that they present a number of polls on the same race over time, showing patterns.


Foxx and Lassiter will talk about their views of uotown Tuesday night at the Third Ward neighborhood meeting at the Gateway YMCA, 900 W. Trade St. It starts at 7 p.m.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Free Market Warrior still fighting

The Free Market Warrior is getting more attention for going out of business than it got for going in.

Loren Spivack says officials at Concord Mills mall have terminated the lease on his kiosk effective at the end of next week. Called the Free Market Warrior, it sells conservative merchandise including "Impeach Obama" bumper-stickers. Mall officials have declined to talk about their decision.

But conservative blogs and some national news outlets haven't shied away.

Fox Business is hoping to put Spivack on the air today. The Drudge Report has linked to the story.

Spivack blames politics and notes mall owner Mel Simon is a big Democratic contributor. In an effort to show the mall tolerates other merchandise a lot of people might find offensive, he's posted photos online.