Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jill Biden to visit Huntersville on Friday

Jill Biden will rally Obama campaign volunteers in Huntersville on Friday.

The wife of Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. at the Obama-Biden campaign field office at 14229 Reese Boulevard.

She had been scheduled to be in Huntersville
-- Tim Funk

Latest PPP poll: Obama-Romney tied in NC

The presidential race in North Carolina remains neck-and-neck, according to a new poll, with virtually no voters still undecided.

The survey, released Wednesday by Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling, found President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney tied with 49 percent each.

The poll also found that Obama is winning among early voters in the state, 58 percent to 41 percent. Romney is ahead among those who have not yet voted, 58 percent to 40 percent, according to the survey from the Democratic-leaning firm.

This is the second week in a row that PPP found the presidential race deadlocked in North Carolina.

But PPP's Wednesday survey comes on the heels of a poll done for WRAL-TV in Raleigh that found Romney ahead 50 percent to 45 percent in the Tar Heel State.

Both campaigns addressed their North Carolina prospects during Wednesday conference calls with reporters. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said that "our margin continues to increase every day in (early voting sites) all across the state.

And he charged that that Romney's campaign was bluffing in its claims of momentum.

"He hasn't put a single battleground state away," Messina said. "remember when Romney was going to leave North Carolina (by pulling out some staff)? They've now raced to increase their TV ads there." That, added Messina, is "the clearest sign of all" that North Carolina is till up for grabs.
Romney's campaign team told reporters that North Carolina is drifting away from Obama.

"This is one that I get a kick out of that I'm still talking about," political director Rich Beeson said while commenting on the different battleground states.

 He said that while early voting turnout still favors registered Democrats in North Carolina, Republicans have cut that gap by 100,000 votes from 2008 numbers.

"North Carolina continues to move further and further from (Obama), as evidenced that they have not had the president down there since he left the convention," Beeson said, referring to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

 -- Tim Funk and Andrew Dunn

Romney campaign says N.C. drifting away from Obama

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign team said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday that North Carolina is drifting away from President Barack Obama.

"This is one that I get a kick out of that I"m still talking about," political director Rich Beeson said while going through a list of the campaign's thoughts on battleground states.

He said that while early voting turnout still favors registered Democrats in North Carolina, Republicans have cut that gap by 100,000 votes from 2008 numbers.

"North Carolina continues to move further and further from him, as evidenced that they have not had the president down there since he left the convention," Beeson said, referring to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Obama's campaign would not say Monday whether Obama would make another appearance in North Carolina, but said they felt the state was still very much in play.

Public Policy Polling had the candidates tied at 49 percent on Wednesday. A WRAL poll Tuesday had Romney ahead 50-45.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

WRAL poll: Romney leads Obama in N.C.

A survey released Tuesday by WRAL-TV found that, a week before Election Day, former Massachussets Gov. Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama, 50 percent to 45 percent in North Carolina.

The Raleigh-Durham TV station's poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, comes on the heels of three other state polls -- released between last Thursday and Monday -- that said the presidential race in the Tar Heel State is neck-and-neck.

That was also the verdict in WRAL's last poll, from four weeks ago. But the one released Tuesday found that Romney had moved into a lead by eliminating Obama's advantage with female voters. They are now tied at 47 percent among women, the poll found.

Romney was ahead among independents and weathier voters, according to WRAL.

Favoring Obama: Young voters.

With early voting in the state underway, the WRAL survey found that Obama leads among people who have already voted (56 percent to 43 percent).

But those who said they plan to vote in Election Day favor Romney, 60 percent to 33 percent.

-- Tim Funk

Monday, October 29, 2012

Money continues to roll in 8th an 9th Districts

Following the tweets @jimmorrill:

R Richard Hudson in #NC08 outraises D Larry Kissell 5-1 in first part of Oct. He got $90K from PACs, 3 x all of what Kissell raised. #NCPOL

Republican Robt. Pittenger in #NC09loaned his campaign $25K in Oct., otherwise outraised by Dem. Jennifer Roberts $76K to $66K. #NCPOL

Obama campaign on N.C.: 'We can win it'

The Obama campaign believes North Carolina is still in play and is increasing its television ad spending in the state, but would not say Monday whether President Barack Obama would make an appearance here before the election.

"We continue to believe on the ground we can win it," campaign manager Jim Messina said of North Carolina on a conference call with reporters Monday morning.

Messina and senior strategist David Axelrod said Obama was leading in every battleground state and said they were impressed with early voting results, including in North Carolina.

"I am ridiculously proud of what the North Carolina staff has put on the ground with our volunteers," Messina said.

He also addressed reports from Mitt Romney's campaign earlier this month saying the Republicans were pulling people out of North Carolina, feeling confident in victory.

"I'm calling their bluff," Messina said.

Most battleground state trackers still show North Carolina leaning Republican. The New York Times' FiveThirtyEight blog gives Romney an 82.5 percent chance of winning the state.

"We really believe that North Carolina is within our reach," Axelrod said on the call. "Everything that we see points to a real possibility there."

When asked about whether Obama would make a North Carolina stop in the next eight days, Messina said the campaign has been re-assessing the scheduling after Hurricane Sandy changed plans.

"We're looking very closely at where we're sending him," Messina said, citing recent N.C. visits from Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama in the state.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Obama's barnyard epithet on Romney causing a stir

President Barack Obama's use of a barnyard epithet to describe Republican candidate Mitt Romney in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine is causing quite the stir around the Internet this morning.

Here's how Politico summed it up:

FIRST LOOK – Rolling Stone cover, “Obama and the Road Ahead: The Rolling Stone Interview,” by Douglas Brinkley: “We arrived at the Oval Office for our 45-minute interview … on the morning of October 11th. … As we left the Oval Office, executive editor Eric Bates told Obama that he had asked his six-year-old if there was anything she wanted him to say to the president. … [S]he said, ‘Tell him: You can do it.’ Obama grinned. … ‘You know, kids have good instincts,’ Obama offered. ‘They look at the other guy and say, “Well, that’s a bullshitter, I can tell.”’”
Tweets are pouring in, the majority of them negative (warning, the profanity continues).

Business Insider: "This is the first time we can ever recall a President using that sort of language in an interview. We look forward to hearing the White House's response."

Politico: "That's some frank language from Obama, who has a genuine disdain for GOP challenger Mitt Romney, as POLITICO's Glenn Thrush has reported."

Twitchy: "Just when you thought President Obama couldn't stoop any lower, here he goes again."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

N.C. voters not seeing two new Obama ads

North Carolina is not included in the newest round of TV ads being aired by the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama.

One new ad is running in Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia. A second ad is running in those states as well as New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

But the Obama campaign was still running a 60-second ad in North Carolina that featured Obama speaking into the camera.

On Tuesday, top Obama campaign officials denied suggestions that they were writing off North Carolina at a time when polls give Republican challenger Mitt Romney a slight lead in the state.

Obama campaign manager pointed to TV ads running in the state as well as recent visits by Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama. But the Democratic president himself has not been to North Carolina since early September, when he gave his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

-- The News & Observer

Monday, October 15, 2012

Poll: Romney takes slight lead in NC

Republican Mitt Romney has taken a slight lead in North Carolina, according to the latest Public Policy Polling survey.

The former Massachusetts governor is the choice of 49 percent of likely N.C. voters, the poll found, while President Barack Obama is the pick of 47 percent.

Two weeks ago, PPP -- a Democratic-leaning firm -- had the two presidential candidates at 48 percent apiece.

It's still close: Romney's lead is within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

But PPP said that Romney's performance in his first debate with Obama improved his image in the Tar Heel State. Now, 49 percent of N.C. voters have a favorable view of him, compared to 46 percent who don't. That's a reversal of what his favorability/unfavorability numbers were in the last PPP poll.

PPP said Romney is ahead in North Carolina mainly for two reasons: He has a 30 point advantage with white voters (63 percent to 33 percent) and he leads among independent voters, 54 percent to 40 percent.

In other other findings, N.C. voters thought, by 46 percent to 42 percent, that Vice President Joe Biden won the recent vice presidential debate. But they have a slighter higher opinion of Romney's running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, 48 percent to Biden's 47 percent.

"North Carolina continues to look like one of the closest states in the country," PPP President Dean Debnam said in a news release. "But things are trending a little bit in Mitt Romney's direction and Obama needs a strong performance (in the second debate) Tuesday night to get things going back in the other direction."

PPP surveyed 1,084 likely N.C. voters last weekend (Oct. 12-14).

North Carolina is one of nine battleground states in the presidential race. The others: Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

-- Tim Funk  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Huckabee to join Romney at Asheville rally; Jill Biden coming to NC, too

Two new signs that North Carolina remains a battleground in the presidential race:

  • Mike Huckabee will join Mitt Romney at the GOP presidential candidate's Thursday night rally in Asheville. Also on the bill at the 6 p.m. event at the U.S. Cellular Center: country music singer Ronnie Milsap.
  • Jill Biden will visit the state Saturday to attend "Women for Obama-Biden" events. No details yet on where in North Carolina she'll be, but her trip will come just two days after her husband, Vice President Joe Biden, debates Romney's running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc.
-- Tim Funk

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Celebs say "vote early" in video shot during DNC

A celebrity-filled video shot during the recent Democratic National Convention in Charlotte has been released by Obama's North Carolina campaign.

Its subject: The benefits of early voting, which starts Oct. 18 in North Carolina.

"Gotta Vote" features Eva Longoria, Alexis Bledel, Zach Braff, Aisha Taylor, Elizabeth Banks, Alfre Woodard and Olivia Wilde.

Its intended audience are voter groups President Barack Obama is counting on in November, er, Oct. 18 and beyond. Namely, young people, African Americans and women.

Early voting in North Carolina goes from Oct. 18 to Nov. 3. North Carolinians can go to any early vote location in their county and register and vote at the same time on the same day. Deatils: www,

Election Day is Nov. 6.

In 2008, Obama carried North Carolina by just 14,000 votes -- a victory margin of  0.3 percent. He became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Obama did it by building up a big lead in early voting. Sen. John McCain, the Republican candidate, won among voters who cast their ballots on Election Day in 2008. But his totals weren't enough to catch up with Obama, who won the early vote.

-- Tim Funk