Election 2014

NC Election Poll Survey Results: Sports

• Has the domestic abuse scandal in the NFL made you more likely to watch a game?
5% More Likely
21% Less Likely
72% No Impact
1% Not Sure

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• Which North Carolina team do you think has the best chance of winning the men’s NCAA basketball championship this season?

28% North Carolina
37% Duke
11% NC State
3% Wake Forest
22% Not Sure

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NC Election Poll Survey Results: State of Economy, Affordable Care Act

• Do you think federal government gridlock will improve, get worse or remain unchanged if Republicans take control of the US Senate in November?
35% Improve
37% Get Worse
22% Remain Unchanged
6% Not Sure

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• Has your personal finance situation gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same since 2008?

23% Better
41% Worse
35% About the Same
2% Not Sure

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• How would you describe the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, up to now? Has it been…Very successful? Somewhat successful? Not very successful? Or not at all successful?
14% Very
29% Somewhat
19% Not Very
35% Not at All
4% Not Sure

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NC Election Poll Survey Results: McCrory Approval, NC Education

• Do you approve or disapprove of the job Pat McCrory is doing as Governor?
43% Approve
45% Disapprove
13% Not Sure

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• How would you characterize the state’s plan to clean up coal ash storage facilities in North Carolina?

5% Excellent
27% Good
39% Fair
22% Poor
7% Not Sure

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• What letter grade would you give North Carolina’s public schools?
7% A
28% B
38% C
16% D
9% F
2% Not Sure

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• What recognition should same-sex couples have in North Carolina?
31% No Legal Recognition
15% Domestic Partner Benefits
19% Civil Unions
29% Marriage

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• Would you be in favor of using toll roads to accelerate transportation projects?
27% Yes
64% No
9% Not Sure

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Senators Burr, McCain Talk Ebola in NC Campaign Rallies

CARY, N.C. – Sens. John McCain and Richard Burr believe the U.S. needs to do a better job handling the Ebola crisis.

Campaigning for GOP candidates in Cary on Wednesday, both senators said the government should monitor international travel.

“I called last week for us to reassess everything we’ve got in place and I think a travel ban is a rational thing to consider,” said Burr.

“I don’t think that to wait until that airplane arrives in the United States of America before we check them is the right way to go. We should be screening these people at minimum at the places of origin before those flights come to the United States of America,” McCain added.

President Barack Obama canceled campaign trips to New Jersey and Connecticut on Wednesday to meet with top administration officials about the growing concerns of Ebola. He said it will take a global response to get the virus under control.

McCain will travel to Goldsboro on Thursday to campaign for Republican senatorial candidate Thom Tillis.

NC Election Poll Survey Results: Obama, Congress Approval; Top Issue?

• Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as President?
41% Approve
53% Disapprove
6% Not Sure

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• Do you approve or disapprove of the job the North Carolina State Legislature is doing?

29% Approve
54% Disapprove
17% Not Sure

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• Do you approve or disapprove of the job Congress is doing?
13% Approve
76% Disapprove
10% Not Sure

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• What issue is most important to you in the election for United States Senate?
39% Economy
19% Health Care
13% Education
15% National Security
4% Immigration
2% Environment
3% Voting Rights
1% Abortion
5% Other / Not Sure

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• How confident are you in President Obama’s ability to handle international crises?
26% Very
19% Somewhat
17% Not Very
38% Not At All
1% Not Sure

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• Do you think the pay raise North Carolina teachers received in the new state budget was too much, too little or about the right amount?
6% Too Much
62% Too Little
26% About The Right Amount
6% Not Sure
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NC Election Poll Survey Results: Hagan Job Approval, Candidate Debates

• Do you approve or disapprove of the job Kay Hagan is doing as United States Senator?
38% Approve
51% Disapprove
11% Not Sure

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• If the election for United States Senator from North Carolina were today, who would you vote for? Republican Thom Tillis? Democrat Kay Hagan? Or Libertarian Sean Haugh?
41% Tillis (R)
44% Hagan (D)
7% Haugh (L)
8% Undecided

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• What if the only candidates for US Senate were Republican Thom Tillis and Democrat Kay Hagan? Who would you vote for?
46% Tillis (R)
45% Hagan (D)
9% Undecided

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• How important are candidate debates in helping you decide who to vote for? Very important? Somewhat important? Not very important? Or not at all important?
35% Very
38% Somewhat
19% Not Very
7% Not At All
1% Not Sure

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The campaigns responded to the polling numbers:

“This race is a dead heat and Kay Hagan is steadily losing support as more voters learn about her failed record and her misplaced priorities, including skipping a classified national security briefing to attend a cocktail fundraiser in New York City,” said Tillis spokeswoman Meghan Burris. “The choice in this election is clear: a vote for Thom Tillis is a vote to change Washington and move our country in a new direction while a vote for Hagan is a vote to continue President Obama’s failed policies.”

“Despite his best efforts, Speaker Tillis cannot run from his disastrous record of hurting North Carolina’s middle class families. North Carolina voters know that Kay will always put their interests first while Speaker Tillis’ agenda of cutting education spending to give tax breaks to the wealthy, killing an equal pay bill, refusing to raise the minimum wage and defunding Planned Parenthood has hurt North Carolina 100% of the time,” said Hagan campaign spokesman Chris Hayden.

Haugh’s Showing Could Shift NC Senate Race Result

WILMINGTON—U.S. Senate hopeful Sean Haugh says he’s offering a message that voters aren’t hearing from the Democratic and Republican candidates in North Carolina.

The Libertarian Party nominee is talking up an anti-war, anti-debt platform that could result in the best showing ever for his party in a North Carolina statewide election. A 1992 candidate for governor received 4 percent of the vote.

Even 2 or 3 percent of the vote could alter the outcome of the tight race between Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis.

The state Libertarian Party is at a high watermark with more than 25,000 voters registering under its banner.

Haugh is appealing to voters through a series of online videos.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Three Senate Candidates Meet in Last TV Debate

WILMINGTON — Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican rival Thom Tillis used every opportunity in their last scheduled televised debate Thursday night to blast each other’s legislative records and reinforce themes from television ads heading into the final weeks of their tight race.

It was their third debate and second this week, but Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh joined them for the first time during the hour-long program at a Wilmington television studio aired elsewhere in the state.

While Haugh promoted his limited government, anti-war platform, the debate’s main attractions remained Tillis and Hagan in a race considered to be one of a handful that will determine which party holds the Senate majority in 2015.

Here’s the rundown on the debate’s major themes:

CATCH PHRASES:

In her opening statement, Hagan said:

North Carolina needs a common sense voice, somebody who will always put the best interest of our state before anything else’.–Before proceeding to tell viewers that Tillis puts the interests of the Republican Party and its allies ahead of the people. It’s reiterating her strategy to link Tillis to the unpopular GOP-led legislature.

She mentioned at least three times that under Tillis’ leadership as state House speaker, the legislature let expire the state’s film production tax credit, a significant issue for the region’s large film and television industry. It’s been replaced by a less generous grant program.

Tillis said at least a half-dozen times that Hagan was a rubber stamp for President Barack Obama’s policies, which Tillis said were dampening the economic recovery. He’s been laser-focused on connecting the first-term senator to the president.

“If we want to change the president’s policies, we have to change our senator,” he said.

MEETING MISSTEPS:

Tillis kept harping on Hagan for her attendance record at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearings this year and emphasized Hagan’s acknowledgement that she missed a February meeting because of a scheduled campaign fundraising reception in New York. The closed meeting on “current and future worldwide threats” to national security had been rescheduled for the afternoon, Hagan and her campaign said.

“What on earth could be more important than understanding the threat to our men and women in uniform and the threat that ISIS poses in the Middle East and to our own safety and security?” Tillis asked, referring to the Islamic State.

Hagan said she’s led Senate committee meetings on the threat while Tillis has failed to provide details on his strategy to eliminate the Islamic State. “I am well informed on these issues, but I think Speaker Tillis has been spineless because he will not say what he would do,” she said.

She also pointed out that Tillis had missed key votes and debates as state House speaker. On at least two occasions, he was in Washington raising money. Tillis said Hagan’s missed meetings were more important.

STIMULUS SLEIGHTS:

Both Hagan and Tillis tried to capitalize on the other candidate’s brush with federal stimulus funds approved in 2009, which Hagan voted for during her first year in the Senate.

The state Republican Party filed a U.S. Senate ethics complaint this week against Hagan alleging that her husband improperly benefited from the 2009 economic stimulus law that she voted to approve with a $390,000 stimulus grant for his business. Hagan said it was a “baseless attack” against her and that she had nothing to do with the grants or the grant process. She said a lawyer for her husband found her activity to be appropriate.

Meanwhile, a Democratic group announced it would file a State Ethics Commission complaint against Tillis for his support of a green-energy tax credit program that benefited a bank in which Tillis holds stock. Tillis dismissed that argument and pointed it was Hagan who voted for the broader stimulus law, not him.

HAUGH’S MOMENT:

Haugh, a former state Libertarian Party leader from Durham who ran for U.S. Senate in 2002, declined to criticize Hagan and Tillis directly but said he was running to offer an alternative to the policies that have led to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the ever-expanding national debt.

“We need to stop all war and stop spending more money than we have,” Haugh said.

Haugh found common ground with the other candidates on some issues. He agreed with Hagan on supporting gay marriage. In a question on the minimum wage, he agreed with Tillis that wages should be set by the marketplace and said a higher minimum wage could lead to a higher cost of living.

– Breanna Walden and the Associated Press

Former Sen. Elizabeth Dole Shifts Focus To Military Caregivers

WASHINGTON — Former Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole no longer represents North Carolina in Congress, but her life is still devoted to public service.

In 2012, she established the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to support military families and those providing care for veterans. Dole says she learned firsthand about caregivers’ challenges after her husband – former Kansas Senator Bob Dole – spent nearly a year at Walter Reed Medical Center recovering from a medical emergency.

“I felt, ‘What can I do to be helpful here?’ because they (the caregivers) were trying to coordinate across medical systems that have different structures and worrying about how it was going to be when they got home,” she said.

Recently, Dole brought together a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders — including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — to raise awareness about the 5.5 million Americans who care for the country’s wounded warriors.

“The four of them have agreed to co-chair the Hidden Heroes Congressional Caucus for Military and Veteran Caregivers,” said Dole. “And, already, legislation is moving through there.”

Dole left politics after losing her Senate seat to Democrat Kay Hagan in 2008. Political watchers say her decision to not participate in televised debates and a now-iconic political TV ad, featuring two older men sitting in rocking chairs outside a country store, helped Hagan win that race.

“Oh, you know, I’m sure there are always things you that look back and think you might have done it differently,” Dole said. “But in the rush of things, I was trying to … I did go to all the 100 counties, and I really enjoyed that. And so you are out there interacting, doing multiple events every day. And there are people back working on other things that you are hearing about sometimes at the last minute. And there’s not even the luxury or the time to change. So sure, it’s a tough thing.”

Dole, who worked in the administrations of five presidents, still has one of the strongest resumes in politics.

In addition to being the first woman to represent North Carolina in the U.S. Senate, she is also the first woman to be appointed secretary of the U.S. Transportation Department. Dole also served as U.S. Secretary of Labor; she was president of the American Red Cross; and, for a time, she ran for the Republican nomination in the 2000 presidential election.

But Dole says she has no intentions of returning to politics or supporting a candidate for office.

“We’re so bipartisan,” said Dole. “I think the basis of this foundation is that we’re working very closely with people on both sides of the aisle, and we’re getting wonderful results.”

She added: “It’s a mission field. And I find that through my career, I always needed that mission field.”

– Geoff Bennett

State Sen. Wesley Meredith Speaks Out About Fraud Allegations

FAYETTEVILLE– A week after a state senator was accused of Medicaid and welfare fraud, the politician has finally spoken out about the claims

Wesley Meredith gave his side of the story Tuesday on WFNC’s “Good Morning Fayeteville.”

“This is an attack against my former wife, it’s against my son and it has to do with me personally. This has nothing to do with the issues of North Carolina,” said Sen. Wesley Meredith.

On Tuesday morning in Meredith’s first taped interview since allegations of welfare fraud surfaced, the senator addressed claims, by his opponent Billy Richardson, that in 1996 he actively and knowingly collected Medicaid and welfare assistance.

“It’s done with no further action necessary, I want to repeat that,” said Meredith. “The case has been thoroughly investigated and the case is closed with no further action necessary.”

Elizabeth Longbottom, Meredith’s former wife, released a statement to Time Warner Cable News.

“In the late 1990s, I was a homemaker and stay at home mother. I had no outside source of income,” said Longbottom. “I was totally dependent on Wesley’s income. He did not keep me informed about the financial decisions he made for our family.”

“I think there is certainly some question on what happened there, and I would really like to hear an explanation,” said voter Roberta Waddle.

Meredith said he does not intend to speak further about the allegations, instead he wants to address the issues that affect North Carolinians.

A call to Meredith was not returned.

Billy Richardson responded to Tuesday’s radio interview with this statement:

“My opponent has yet to respond to the direct question: Did he rig the system? Were he and his family on welfare, while making a six-figure salary?”

– Vita McHale