Friday, September 28, 2012

NBC/WSJ Poll: Neck and neck in NC

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll has good news for Democrat Barack Obama and for Republican Pat McCrory in North Carolina.

The poll, released Friday, shows Obama with the support of 48 percent of likely North Carolina voters to 46 percent for Mitt Romney. It's the latest in a series of polls by the NBC partnership that show Obama leading his Republican opponent in swing states.

In North Carolina, Obama is up by 1.1 points in the Real Clear Politics polling average.

"This was the closest of the battleground states four years ago and it is close again this time," said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "The competitive presidential contest is not, however, spilling over to the race for governor."

The poll shows McCrory leading Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton 52 percent to 39 percent. Jim Morrill

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Biden will campaign in Charlotte on Tuesday

Vice President Joe Biden will campaign in Charlotte on Tuesday (Oct. 2), an Obama campaign official said Wednesday.

More details on his itinerary are to come.

Biden's return to North Carolina comes as the race for the state's 15 electoral votes is heating up.

The vice president's stop follows a visit to Durham last week by First Lady Michelle Obama.

On the Republican side, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan -- GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate -- also stopped in North Carolina this month.

And this week, two high-profile Republican surrogates -- U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina -- have campaigned for Romney-Ryan in the Tar Heel State.

Both campaigns are also airing new TV ads in the state, where Romney and Democratic President Barack Obama are virtually tied in recent polls.

-- Tim Funk

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pittenger debates Roberts Wednesday

Republican Robert Pittenger and Democrat Jennifer Roberts meet for the first debate of their 9th Congressional District campaign Wednesday afternoon at the Charlotte Chamber.

Both are trying to replace Republican U.S. Rep Sue Myrick in the district's first open-seat election since 1994.

The meeting will be preceded by two legislative debates. Democratic Rep. Martha Alexander and Republican Rob Bryan will face off for the House District 88 seat and Democrat Robin Bradford and Republican Charles Jeter will debate for the newly created seat from District 92.

Jim Morrill

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rubio to promote Romney at Charlotte rally

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio -- one of the GOP's rising stars -- is scheduled to be in Charlotte on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 26) for a Romney-Ryan "Victory Rally."

The Florida Republican will speak to Mitt Romney supporters at 1:45 p.m. at SteelFab, Inc., 8623 Old Dowd Road, according to an email from the Romney campaign.

Rubio was among those considered by Romney as a running mate. The Cuban-American lawmaker, who introduced Romney at the recent Republican National Convention in Tampa, is also touted as a future presidential candidate.

-- Tim Funk

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chamber CEO talks up Charlotte on TV

Charlotte Chamber CEO has been making television appearances all week talking up the city as the country's fastest growing metropolitan area.

On Fox Business, Morgan said the convention was Charlotte's "debut" and said the city is "doing pretty well economically by this convention."

On C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Morgan described the city's rise into a major financial center and touted the city's manufacturing. When asked about hwether the city had contingency plans for more trouble at Bank of America or Wells Fargo, he praised the two big banks for bringing wealth to the city and said "very little gets done civically" without their taking a lead role.

Beyond that, he said the city continues to diversify its corporate base, though he also said other banks like PNC and BB&T have been increasing their presence in the city.

--Andrew Dunn

Video: North Carolina delegation's roll call vote

You might have missed the North Carolina's delegation in the roll call vote, since they didn't get to cast their votes until well after midnight. But they spoke briefly before casting 152 of their 157 votes for President Obama.

You can watch them above, courtesy of a clip from C-SPAN.

Here's our brief transcript. The clip starts with the tail end of New York's vote.

Charlotte businessman Cameron Harris: "The great and sovereign state of North Carolina, the cradle of liberty, is delighted to host the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina."

Democratic Party chairman David Parker: "Madam secretary, North Carolina, the state of our great Gov. Beverly Perdue, our fantastic Sen. Kay Hagan, where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, where we will elect Walter Dalton our next governor, where we voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and where we will carry North Carolina again in 2012, to keep this recovery going, to keep our American dream alive, North Carolina proudly casts 152 votes for Barack Obama."

--Andrew Dunn

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DNC: The outtakes

Here's the serendipity of conventions: You run into all sorts of people from the world of politics. Here are three:

-- James Carville: The Democratic strategist and TV talking head was relaxing outside the CNN booth at Time-Warner Arena. I asked him if he thought holding the DNC in Charlotte would help President Obama's campaign.

"I hope so," he said. "I'm always sort of skeptical that a convention site in early September brings voters in early November."

He also said if Mitt Romney loses North Carolina, he loses the election.

-- Jeff Greenfield: The TV analyst was with his friend Joe Klein at a Sunday reception at the Duke Energy building. He likes Charlotte as a host city.

"It's great, he said. "The whole uptown area is so amenable. The folks are terrific. The venues are spectacular."

-- Chris Lehane: The Democratic strategist turned film-writer is here in part to screen his new film "Knife Fight" starring Rob Lowe about corrupt California politics. He showed parts of it at a Politico Playbook breakfast hosted by Mike Allen at Packard Place.

He called conventions "a political appendix," vestiges of another era. This is the first year parties will have done both their conventions in three days, not four.

"Between Tampa and Charlotte, they'll be inflection point conventions," he said. Jim Morrill

Monday, September 3, 2012

Duke CEO defends Obama, talks up Charlotte on CNN

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers defended President Barack Obama and talked up Charlotte during an interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien on her show Monday morning.

When asked about whether the country is better off now than four years ago, Rogers first talked about how energy efficiency has improved over Obama's term and how natural gas has emerged as a low-cost energy source.

When pressed about the economy, Rogers said Obama started in a "deep hole" that he's worked out of.

"The more relevant question is, are we on the right trend?" Rogers said. "Are we moving in the right direction?"

Rogers has been a prominent donor to both the Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign this election cycle, FEC records show, as well as other Democratic and Republican candidates.

O'Brien also asked Rogers about Charlotte and whether the city can handle the convention despite its relatively small size.

"Charlotte has a history of punching above its weight," Rogers said. "Charlotte has a history of re-inventing itself. Charlotte is a can-do city."

Rogers and the panel went on to talk briefly about carbon regulations and cap-and-trade. You can read a transcript of the interview here.

-Andrew Dunn

Will rain force Obama speech indoors?

Possible thunderstorms could move President Barack Obama's Thursday night acceptance speech indoors -- a contingency plan that would frustrate tens of thousands of North Carolinians now planning to watch the speech at Bank of American Stadium.

With forecasts calling for a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms Thursday -- though clearer skies by nightfall -- Obama campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter raised the possibility Monday morning that the president may have to deliver his speech in Time Warner Cable Arena.

"We're still hopeful we can speak in the stadium," Cutter said on MSNBC's Daily Rundown show. "We've got tens of thousands of people from all over North Carolina and the country traveling here for that, with enormous enthusiasm for it. But we always knew this could be part of the plan. We'll make a call sometime in the near future about whether to move it indoors."

But later Monday morning, at a news conference at the Charlotte Convention Center, convention committee CEO Steve Kerrigan told reporters: "This is going forward, rain or shine."

Kerrigan added, though, that a contingency plan was on the table if thunderstorms pose safety issues.

In Tampa last week, Tropical Storm Isaac forced Republicans to change their plans, shortening their convention by a day.

-- Tim Funk and Ann Doss Helms

LA mayor expects 65,000 for Obama speech

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says to expect 65,000 people to be in Bank of America on Thursday night for President Barack Obama's acceptance speech.

Speaking Monday at uptown's POLITICO Playbook Breakfast, the mayor and chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention also acknowledged that delegates in Charlotte may have to give themseves some extra time all week to maneuver the various security arrangements on their way to events and Time Warner Cable Arena.

When the Democrats held their convention in his city in 2000, Villaraigosa told host Mike Allen and his audience, "LA felt like it went very smoothly -- because that was before  September 11 . . . I hope it's going to go as smoothly as possibly here."

When asked about Charlotte, though, Villaraigosa showered the Queen City and its residents with compliments.

"Don't you just love the Southern hospitality? They're so warm, so gracious," he said. "I love the trees, This is a beautiful city . . . This is a city where you'd want to love."

The mayor also gave a shout-out to Osso restaurant and the whole N.C. Music Factoy complex. And he called Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx "the face of the New South."

-- Tim Funk  

Three new polls show race tight in NC

Three new polls are showing the race in North Carolina continues to be tight between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

-- A new survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm, shows the two tied at 48 percent. The margin of error is 3.1 percentage points.

-- A poll by High Point University and Fox 8 showed Romney with 46 percent to Obama's 43 percent. The sampling error is 4.3 percentage points.

-- And an Elon University Poll, released Sunday, showed Romney up 47 percent to 43 percent. Like the High Point University Poll, it was conducted during the GOP convention. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

DNC to be exhaustively live-streamed

For everyone who can't be inside Time Warner Cable arena this week for the Democratic National Convention, the proceedings will be exhaustively live-streamed at, organizers said Sunday.

The feed will be available on desktop and mobile devices, and will be broadcast in Spanish and with closed-captioning as well.

Convention organizers also hope to get people around the country involved, including highlighting the some-4,000 watch parties.

On Thursday evening, as President Barack Obama makes his acceptance speech, will host a web-only special. Actor Kal Penn, a big Obama supporter, will interview big names including Marc Anthony, Elizabeth Banks, Aisha Tyler, Olivia Wilde, Fran Drescher, Zach Braff and Alexis Bledel.

--Andrew Dunn