Carolina Journal News Reports
CJ Series

Covering the 2012 Elections

Voters will decide whether to give Republicans their seal of approval after the GOP took control of the General Assembly for the first time in more than a century. Gov. Bev Perdue's surprise decision to forgo a re-election campaign opens up the race for the executive mansion. Elections for other state offices, local positions, and Congress promise plenty of interest. And the Democratic National Convention hits Charlotte. Check here for frequent news and analysis about this crucial political campaign.

(12.19.12) Elected Council of State, While Unwieldy, Is Unlikely To Change
RALEIGH — Changing the method of selection for governor, lieutenant governor, and any of North Carolina’s other Council of State officials would require a constitutional amendment. Twenty-six states elect a joint ticket for governor and lieutenant governor, and most appoint leaders of education and agriculture policy.

(12.12.12) Voters Embrace Bond Referendums, Taxes Not So Much
RALEIGH — Nov. 6 turned out to be a good day — mostly — for supporters of local bond referendums throughout North Carolina. Supporters of local sales tax increases across the state met with less success. Wilmington voters rejected a tax-funded minor league baseball stadium, but voters in Alamance and Wake counties approved new borrowing power to upgrade local community colleges.

(11.29.12) Education Policy Could Face Major Changes Under McCrory
RALEIGH — GOP wins in November could have an immediate effect on PreK-12 public schools in North Carolina. While Democratic incumbent June Atkinson retained her position as superintendent of public instruction, Republicans are set to have a majority of members on the State Board of Education by spring.

(11.29.12) CJ Editorial: Elections and Losing With Dignity
Liberal activists want to set in motion a process that would let any deep-pocketed donor silence state judges.

(11.28.12) Republicans Make Historic Gains on N.C. County Commissions
GREENSBORO — For the first time since records have been kept by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners — and possibly for the first time since the 19th century — Republicans hold a majority of seats on county commissions in the Tar Heel State. Pending results from two recounts in the western part of the state, Republicans elected 304 commissioners, Democrats 270.

(11.21.12) Queen Loses Appeal of ‘Stand By Your Ad’ Lawsuit
RALEIGH — State Rep.-elect Joe Sam Queen, D-Haywood, cannot collect damages worth three times the amount of money his 2010 state Senate opponent spent on television ads in their campaign. The N.C. Court of Appeals ruled that neither Queen nor Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, “fully complied” with the state’s 1999 Stand By Your Ad law.

(11.21.12) Obama's Attack Ad Strategy
The Obama campaign won a hard-fought, expensive contest with an expensive but cost-effective strategy of attack ads, turnout operations, and favorable media coverage.

(11.20.12) Price: Sequestration Unlikely In Lame-Duck Session
CHAPEL HILL — A trillion-dollar sequestration that immediately would cut large portions of domestic and military spending likely will be deferred until budget architects can put together a long-term fiscal plan in the new Congress, U.S. Rep. David Price said Monday.

(11.19.12) Coleman Concedes in Race for Lieutenant Governor
RALEIGH — Unsuccessful Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Linda Coleman ended her improbable challenge to the Nov. 6 election results Monday morning. After all 100 county boards of election canvassed the vote totals, the margin of victory by Republican Dan Forest was 6,858 of the 4,368,598 ballots cast.

(11.16.12) Some Hope for Concord and Union
Promoting concord and seeking a union of interests are consistent with the goal of enhancing freedom. New leaders, please take note.

(11.16.12) What the Voters Did
Despite their fecklessness elsewhere, Republicans remain the majority party in America’s state governments.

(11.12.12) GOP Election Gains Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences
RALEIGH — The GOP can credit much of its success to redrawn congressional and legislative districts that made a number of districts more friendly demographically. They also enjoyed a campaign finance advantage, a plus that they are not used to having.

(11.12.12) Time After Time
Let the political analysis steep for a while. When the time comes, it’ll taste better.

(11.09.12) North Carolina Votes for Change
Pat McCrory and GOP lawmakers asked North Carolina voters for the job of taking on the state's daunting challenges. The voters said yes. Now they will have to deliver.

(11.09.12) Cleaning Out My Notebook
The Democrats and liberals demonstrated that they remain better at the ground game than Republicans and conservatives are, but the latter groups closed the gap a bit.

(11.08.12) Ideas Matter. So Do Candidates and Campaigns
You can advance principles of freedom and self-government by recruiting the right candidates and giving them the proper support.

(11.08.12) Bold Leadership in Raleigh
The left is attacking the General Assembly for actions they did not take during the session.

(11.07.12) North Carolina Votes for Change
Pat McCrory and GOP lawmakers asked North Carolina voters for the job of taking on the state's daunting challenges. The voters said yes.

(11.07.12) Republicans Win Governor’s Race, Gain Seats in General Assembly
RALEIGH — Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory became North Carolina’s third Republican governor since the 19th century and the first since then to work with a General Assembly controlled by his own party, as the GOP built on its electoral momentum from 2010.

(11.06.12) JLF/CJ Staff Providing Election Day Coverage, Commentary
RALEIGH — The John Locke Foundation’s statewide Locker Room blog is the place to be for election night coverage of North Carolina contests and national results. JLF policy experts and Carolina Journal reporters and editors will post election results and commentary throughout the night.

(11.05.12) Politics Turned Upside Down
Regardless of what happens tomorrow in other states, here in North Carolina the Republican Party will likely have the best political cycle in its history.

(11.05.12) Elections Board: European Observers Here To Observe, Not Monitor Elections
RALEIGH — While there will be a handful of European officials in North Carolina observing tomorrow’s elections, a state elections official says their role will be to observe and learn about American elections. “This is more of an educational opportunity for these persons,” said Don Wright, general counsel for the State Board of Elections. “They are not monitoring the elections.”

(11.02.12) Chapel Hill Killer Registered At and Voted From Mental Hospital
BUTNER — Recent stepped-up voter registration efforts at state mental hospitals and facilities for the developmentally disabled resulted in the registration of Wendell Justin Williamson, who in 1995 killed two people in Chapel Hill and was judged not guilty by reason of insanity. Williamson registered Sept. 13 and voted absentee in October.

(11.02.12) Former NCIS Agent Goodwin Tries To Unseat Incumbent Secretary of State Marshall
RALEIGH — The 2012 North Carolina Secretary of State race features two very different candidates. Incumbent Democrat Elaine Marshall first was elected in 1996, the first female ever elected to a statewide, executive branch office. Republican challenger Ed Goodwin is chairman of the Chowan County Board of Commissioners.

(11.01.12) Troxler, Smith Battle for Ag Commissioner Slot
RALEIGH — The re-election campaign of North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has highlighted his efforts to grow agriculture and agribusiness revenue and employment. His Democratic opponent Walter Smith wants to expand the industry, too. But Smith has drawn attention for his opposition to the lack of state regulation preventing animal abuse through dog-breeding operations derided as “puppy mills.”

(10.31.12) Campaign Activities by Harnett Register of Deeds Staff Raises Ethics Concerns
RALEIGH — The question about how much campaigning local courthouse employees should be doing for their boss’ election has arisen in Harnett County as Democrat Register of Deeds Kimberly Hargrove battles to keep her job against Republican challenger Darryl Black. Such electioneering is illegal for state offices but not at the county level.

(10.31.12) Barefoot and Berger Highlight Parties’ Struggle for Power
RALEIGH — Leaders in the North Carolina Republican Party are doing all they can to help Chad Barefoot get elected to the Senate District 18 seat as part of a larger effort to expand their new majority and advance their agenda. If Barefoot defeats incumbent Democrat Doug Berger, it will help the Republicans maintain and expand their control of the Senate.

(10.30.12) Cowell, Royal Try to Make Impression on Voters in Treasurer’s Race
RALEIGH — Incumbent Democratic state Treasurer Janet Cowell and Republican challenger Steve Royal don’t agree on much, but concur that lack of statewide name recognition is a challenge in the Nov. 6 general election. Cowell has a lopsided fundraising advantage but the race remains close.

(10.29.12) Szoka and Dees Battle In Redrawn House District 45
RALEIGH — Redrawn House District 45 now occupies the bulk of Cumberland County that encircles, but does not include, Fayetteville. It is the former turf of five-term incumbent Democrat Rick Glazier, who was double-bunked by redistricting into House District 44. Now it's a swing district with an open seat.

(10.29.12) Prove Me Wrong on Elections
So far, my arguments for shortening the ballot – and those of many other advocates of the reform across the political spectrum – have resulted in precisely zero action.

(10.29.12) Goolsby and Butler At Odds on More than Abortion
RALEIGH — Much of Democratic state Senate District 9 candidate Deborah Butler’s campaign against freshman Republican Sen. Thom Goolsby has focused on a piece of anti-abortion legislation he supported, even though both candidates say their primary goal is job creation.

(10.26.12) Mental Hospital Voter Sign-Up Questioned
RALEIGH — Cherry Hospital, a state-run adult inpatient psychiatric facility in Goldsboro, welcomed a federally funded nonprofit organization to conduct a voter registration drive of mental patients, likely a violation of state law. Moreover, a memo from a hospital administrator indicated the nonprofit, Disability Rights North Carolina, assisted patients in completing absentee ballots, which may have been illegal as well.

(10.26.12) Will the Martin Record Be Broken?
Jim Martin's 55 percent victory in 1988 was the highest vote share any North Carolina Republican has ever won in a high-profile statewide election.

(10.25.12) CJ Editorial: A 112-Year-Old Voting Glitch
State election officials need to update tens of thousands of voting records and end the notion that thousands of centenarians are casting ballots.

(10.22.12) Huge Cash Differential in Race for U.S. House District 9
RALEIGH — Charlotte residents Robert Pittenger, a Republican, Democrat Jennifer Roberts, and Libertarian Curtis Campbell are running for the 9th U.S. Congressional District seat being vacated by nine-term GOP Rep. Sue Myrick. It is a Republican-leaning district running north to south in Iredell, Mecklenburg, and Union counties.

(10.19.12) Insurance Commissioner Must Decide How Much Homeowner Rates Will Go Up
RALEIGH — Homeowners could see their insurance rates go up – some by as much as 30 percent – if a request by the N.C. Rate Bureau is approved. While the overall statewide average increase is 17.7 percent, the proposed increases range from 1.2 percent for Piedmont homeowners to 30 percent for homeowners living in a number of coastal areas.

(10.18.12) Murry and Messina Face Off In Indy-Minded House District 41
RALEIGH — The suburb-heavy Western Wake County district has the highest number of independent voters in the state — 36.6 percent of registered voters are unaffiliated. The rest of the registered voters are split fairly evenly among Democrats and Republicans. But less than a quarter of partisans have voted straight tickets in recent elections.

(10.17.12) The Great Debates, Round Two
Walter Dalton, lagging badly in the polls, needed to attack. Check. Pat McCrory needed to project confidence and just let Dalton’s bait continue to bob in the water. Check.

(10.17.12) Redistricting, DWI Arrest Throw Uncertainty Over House District 63 Race
BURLINGTON — The race to fill the open seat in state House District 63 is being waged by a pair of veteran municipal officials, one viewed in some quarters as an establishment Republican, the other a Democrat with some conservative notions. The district had a Democratic lean before redistricting.

(10.16.12) An 87-second Video May Decide Race in House District 1
RALEIGH — Bob Steinburg, the Republican candidate for state House District 1, is fighting mad, at least according to his Democratic opponent’s campaign manager, who filed assault charges against Steinburg. Steinburg was charged with third-class misdemeanor assault after he confronted Russ Haddad, campaign manager for Democrat Bill Luton, immediately following a candidate forum.

(10.16.12) Contenders for House District 51 Lean to the Right
RALEIGH — Two men who call themselves conservatives are vying to represent House District 51, a district that spills roughly equally over the Lee and Harnett county lines. Democrat Bill Tatum says he's more conservative than some Republicans. Incumbent Rep. Mike Stone won a series of honors from right-leaning groups.

(10.16.12) Superintendent Candidates Articulate Sharp Contrasts at Forum
RALEIGH — There was no disguising harsh sentiments between candidates for state superintendent of public instruction at a public forum in Raleigh Monday night when incumbent Democrat June Atkinson and Republican challenger John Tedesco clashed over a 90-minute span.

(10.15.12) Incumbent Rep. Jones, Challenger Osborne Vow Accountability in District 65
RALEIGH — Both candidates in the N.C. House of Representatives District 65 race have one thing in common: They’re tired of politicians not keeping their promises to constituents. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end between the candidates.

(10.15.12) Rapp May Face First Major Challenge From Presnell in House District 118
RALEIGH — For the first time in a decade, state Rep. Ray Rapp, D-Madison, could face a tight race as North Carolina House District 118 voters decide whether he’ll get a sixth term.
Republican Michele Presnell, a Yancey County commissioner and the wife of former state Sen. Keith Presnell, beat two other Republicans in the primary to challenge Rapp.

(10.12.12) Holding Likely To Benefit From New 13th District Lines
RALEIGH — The redistricting plan adopted last year by the General Assembly morphed the boundaries of the 13th U.S. Congressional District so much that its own congressman chose not to seek re-election. The new district's demographics favor the GOP, so incumbent Democratic Rep. Brad Miller is not pursuing a sixth term.

(10.12.12) One of the Most Important Ways to Exercise Your Rights
The federal constitution protects the right to vote; that right originates from the states.

(10.11.12) Incumbent Meredith Facing Tough Re-election Fight in Senate District 19
FAYETTEVILLE — It is a race between a Republican candidate who describes himself as a “working class man” and a Democratic candidate who says his parents taught him to “tote your own water.” Incumbent Sen. Wesley Meredith is considered vulnerable, but Democratic challenger George Tatum faces questions, too.

(10.10.12) Local Ballots Feature More Than Two Dozen Measures
RALEIGH — Six counties will decide whether to adopt an additional 0.25 cent sales tax. Three counties will be asking voters to alter the makeup or method of election of their board of county commissioners. Then there are municipal referendums, ranging from bond issues to the sale of a water system to banning smoking on the beach.

(10.10.12) Newly Drawn House District 88 Gives GOP Chance to Unseat Democrat Alexander
RALEIGH — Republican newcomer Rob Bryan hopes to woo voters in N.C. House of Representatives District 88 with his strong stance on education reform. But he must convince them 10-term incumbent Democrat Martha Alexander, vice chairwoman of the House Education Committee, is not up to the task.

(10.09.12) House District 35 Contenders Have Wake School Board Ties
RALEIGH — In Wake County, the open-seat contest in N.C. House District 35 features two candidates with ties to the Wake County school board, which recently has been roiled with controversy over partisan politics, especially over student assignment policies. Current Wake County school board member Chris Malone, a Republican, faces Democrat Lori Millberg, who sat on the school board from 2005-09.

(10.09.12) Two Pro-Business ‘Genes’ Battle For Votes in Senate District 25
RALEIGH — Though Democrats outnumber Republicans by 20 percentage points in this southwestern Piedmont district, it's considered competitive because the General Assembly's redistricting plan moved many more conservative voters into the district.

(10.09.12) County Commissioner Cayton Faces Tea Party Organizer Speciale in House District 3
RALEIGH — The race for the 3rd District of the N.C. House offers voters clear differences in principles and priorities. Democrat Robert Cayton, a Beaufort County commissioner, touts a nuts-and-bolts approach to governance. Republican Michael Speciale is best known for his advocacy in various Tea Party groups around eastern North Carolina.

(10.08.12) Insider Atkinson Faces Outsider Tedesco in Election for School Superintendent
RALEIGH — Incumbent superintendent June Atkinson is a career educator who won office in 2004. Challenger John Tedesco, a fundraiser for nonprofits, was part of a conservative insurgency that took charge of the Wake County school board in 2009. Both have worked in contentious environments.

(10.08.12) The Tally After Round One
While President Obama often looked as if he was underprepared for the presidential debate, Lt. Gov. Dalton was overprepared.

(10.08.12) Turnout A Key In Race for Open Seat In State House District 115
RALEIGH — Republican Nathan Ramsey is promoting his track record of bipartisanship as he campaigns against Asheville Democrat Susan Wilson to represent the left-leaning state House District 115. But Ramsey, a former Buncombe County commissioner, may surprise in the battle for this open seat in the General Assembly.

(10.05.12) A Rematch in House 93, State's Most Northwestern District
RALEIGH — As a swing district it already commands interest. But a General Election anomaly has drawn heightened interest of the state’s political observers to state House District 93. It is the only House district in the state to feature the same opponents from the 2010 election — freshman Republican Jonathan Jordan and former two-term Rep. Cullie Tarleton.

(10.05.12) Longtime Incumbent Faces Newcomer in State House District 9 Contest
RALEIGH — The race for N.C. House District 9 features a Republican newcomer to politics against an incumbent Democrat in a district where the political dynamics have been altered by redistricting. Rep. Marian McLawhorn, a seven-term incumbent, will face off against Greenville businessman Brian Brown in the Nov. 6 election.

(10.04.12) Ideological Contrast Obvious In House District 92
RALEIGH — Huntersville residents Robin Bradford and Charles Jeter are competing in the Nov. 6 general election in a district where 30 percent of the voters are unaffiliated, so they must attract independents, not just their bases, to vote. In am Aug. 18-20 flash poll by the Civitas Institute, Jeter led Bradford 53-35 percent.

(10.04.12) Bibbs and Martin Battle for Open Seat in State House District 8
RALEIGH — Improving education and restraining electricity rates are among the top issues facing the candidates for state House District 8, covering parts of Pitt and Wilson counties. Two Wilson residents are vying for the seat — attorney Mark Bibbs, a Democrat, and Republican Susan Martin, an MBA who retired from IBM.

(10.04.12) Ryan Offers A Balanced Conservatism
Paul Ryan understands the importance of conservative principles but believes the true test of policy is how it works in the real world.

(10.03.12) Stewardship of the Environment a Key Issue in Senate District 15
RALEIGH — While they don’t agree on everything, the Republican and Democrat running for North Carolina Senate District 15 — which encompasses part of North Raleigh and part of Wake Forest — put environmental protection near the top of their political agendas.

(10.02.12) Cary Watchdog Says Town Promotion of Bonds Goes Too Far
CARY — A Cary government watchdog organization believes the town is violating state law by placing a one-sided video on the town’s website hailing the benefits of tax increases to pay $80 million for three bond referendums on the Nov. 6 ballot.

(10.01.12) Supreme Court Outcome Will Have Lasting Effects
RALEIGH — To many, the race is below the radar, taking a back seat to the presidential and gubernatorial contests in North Carolina. But some say the battle for a state Supreme Court justice seat between incumbent Justice Paul Newby and state Court of Appeals Judge Sam J. Ervin IV could be the most important race to be decided by the state’s voters this year.

(10.01.12) They Call It The Streak
If Pat McCrory is elected governor of North Carolina, that will violate the “rule” that politicians from the Charlotte area can’t win statewide elections.

(9.28.12) Rematch Pending in Westernmost State Senate District
RALEIGH — Western North Carolina voters will get to choose between two known quantities when they go to the polls in the state Senate’s 50th District election. The race is a rematch of a 2010 election that was decided by just 161 ballots — less than 0.3 percent of all votes canvassed in the race.

(9.27.12) Forest Runs Against Coleman In Contest for Lieutenant Governor
RALEIGH — Tea Party favorite and political newcomer Dan Forest is calling for an “education revolution.” He believes he is better suited as a Republican outsider to deliver a vital sea change of innovation than his Democratic opponent for lieutenant governor, Linda Coleman, a career government employee.

(9.26.12) Ellmers Faces First Test as Incumbent Vs. Wilkins
RALEIGH — The race pits freshman incumbent Renee Ellmers, a Republican who has become a frequent spokeswoman for the GOP leadership in Washington, against Steve Wilkins, a Democrat who embraces core liberal values. Ellmers was the only North Carolina Republican to defeat an incumbent Democrat during the GOP wave election of 2010.

(9.26.12) First-Term Incumbent Rabon Faces Newcomer Hefner in New Senate District 8
RALEIGH — Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, a Southport veterinarian completing his first term, is defending his seat against civil engineer and U.S. Marine veteran Danny Hefner, D-Brunswick, in a new Senate District 8 created by the Republican-led state legislature’s redistricting that swapped Columbus for Bladen County.

(9.25.12) It’s GOP Incumbent Berry Vs. Former Labor Commissioner Brooks
RALEIGH — Cherie Berry, North Carolina’s labor commissioner for nearly 12 years, is proud to run on her record. John Brooks, who held the post for 16 years, says he deserves another opportunity at the job.

(9.25.12) White, Cook Battle For Coastal Seat Once Held By Basnight
RALEIGH — Whether voters elect Democratic incumbent Sen. Stan White or Republican state Rep. Bill Cook, they’ll have an advocate against proposed ferry tolls and in favor of the $600 million Mid-Currituck Bridge project. This summer the legislature postponed ferry toll increases until July 1, 2013.

(9.21.12) 10th Congressional District Race Highlights Contrasts
RALEIGH — The only thing the two candidates for North Carolina’s District 10 congressional seat agree on is that their opponent is an extremist who will move the country in the wrong direction. Redistricting added the liberal bastion of Asheville to the district.

(9.21.12) Libertarians Johnson, Howe, Irving Spread Freedom Message At Duke Event
DURHAM — A little-viewed video is not the provocation for anti-American violence in the Middle East, and America should shut down its foreign embassies and bring its ambassadors home, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson said Thursday at Duke University.

(9.20.12) Barringer and Portman Vie For Open Seat in State Senate District 17
RALEIGH — Jobs and education are the top issues in the campaign to succeed retiring five-term Republican Sen. Richard Stevens for state Senate District 17, which covers southwestern Wake County. The race pits Republican attorney Tamara Barringer against Democratic Wake County Commissioner Erv Portman in this Republican-leaning district.

(9.20.12) Supreme Court Election Is Key
The winner of the race between Justice Paul Newby and Judge Sam Ervin IV will have a key role in setting judicial policy.

(9.19.12) Goodwin, Causey Say Experience Matters in Insurance Commissioner Race
RALEIGH — Incumbent Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, a Democrat, and Mike Causey, a Republican, agree that the state needs to find more insurers willing to underwrite property near the coast. Goodwin says he's saved ratepayers more than $1 billion. Causey says the insurance department needs to be more responsive to the public.

(9.19.12) To Do Good or Do Better
History is full of examples of governments generating both benefits and costs for their citizens that no one intended – or even could have intended.

(9.18.12) Lawson and Tine Vie for Open Seat in N.C. House 6
RALEIGH — Republican consultant Mattie Lawson faces insurance agent Paul Tine to represent this coastal district. The North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation expects House District 6 to be one of the state's 20 most competitive contests.

(9.14.12) Dalton Plays Small Ball
Running a more independent campaign might risk some intra-party tensions. But it would also have a better shot of putting the ball in the outfield – or in the stands.

(9.07.12) Poll: Young Adults Not Better Off Than Four Years Ago
CHARLOTTE — A recent survey commissioned by Generation Opportunity from the inc./WomanTrend polling company found 88 percent of North Carolina’s young adults have changed some aspect of their day-to-day lives because of the current state of the economy, such as skipping a vacation, reducing their grocery budget or skipping a major family event.

(9.07.12) From Hope and Change to Don’t Rock the Boat
Last night, President Obama told Americans change was hard and took root slowly. Embracing Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would be risky, leaving Americans with only one safe choice: Give him a second term and hope he would get it right this time.

(9.06.12) Clinton Delivered, And Delivered, And Delivered ...
President Bill Clinton could have made a focused, impassioned pitch for a second Obama term, but he had to indulge himself, giving a disjointed 50-minute speech that was about 20 minutes too long.

(9.06.12) Change of Venue Casts Pall on Final DNC Celebration
CHARLOTTE — Citing the potential for bad weather, DNC officials decided Wednesday to move tonight’s program indoors. Charlotte has experienced rainstorms in the early part of the week, with skies clearing a bit Wednesday. Forecasts put the chance of storms at 30 percent tonight.

(9.05.12) A Stormy Convention, Outside and In
The official theme of the first night of the Democratic National Convention may have been “Americans Coming Together,” but the speeches offered little more than a litany of grievances.

(9.05.12) Reid Cheers LDS Democrats at Convention
CHARLOTTE — An estimated 300 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints got a boost from the U.S. Senate’s top Democrat, when Nevadan Harry Reid told the group to “be proud of who you are.” A Pew Research Center study found 80 percent of Mormons nationally identify with Republicans.

(9.04.12) Welcome To Our Gitmo
Charlotte’s security provisions for the Democratic National Convention aren’t exactly welcoming visitors to the Queen City.

(8.28.12) GOP Congressional Candidates Preview Convention Speeches
RALEIGH — Three GOP congressional challengers gave a preview of their speeches before the Republican National Convention during a morning press teleconference. They said they planned to draw contrasts between Democratic President Barack Obama’s policies and the vision of the Romney-Ryan GOP ticket.

(8.24.12) Goodwin Hurls Charges at Marshall at Secretary of State Forum
RALEIGH — Republican Secretary of State candidate Ed Goodwin accused incumbent Democrat Elaine Marshall of backing what he labeled a subversive organization with revolutionary goals during a candidate forum Thursday night.

(8.23.12) Ryan Rallies Crowd At Wednesday Triangle Appearance
RALEIGH — Appearing before an estimated 1,500 people at a public rally at SMT Inc., a woman-owned-and-operated metal fabrication and painting factory just north of RDU with a work force of 80 employees, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said it is imperative to elect Mitt Romney president.

(8.20.12) Sparks Fly in State Auditor’s Race
RALEIGH — Democrat incumbent Beth Wood said she deserves re-election on the strength of her vigorous campaign against wasteful spending and sloppy, expensive state contracts. Her Republican opponent, Debra Goldman, attacked Wood as a poor manager with a spotty record of investigating corruption who has carried water for Gov. Bev Perdue.

(8.17.12) The Campaigns May Actually Matter
If the presidential candidates shift their focus elsewhere, which now seems quite possible, voters will learn more about their candidates for governor. Good.

(8.17.12) Republicans Outraising Democrats in North Carolina Races
RALEIGH — The tables have been turned in the political money wars. North Carolina Republicans, who traditionally lag behind their Democratic rivals in fund-raising, are leading their opponents in most races across the state, although there are some notable exceptions.

(8.15.12) Three Gubernatorial Debates Set for October
RALEIGH — Two of the debates will be held at the UNC Center for Public Television in Research Triangle Park. The other will be held at N.C. Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount.
These debates will be carried statewide on the UNC-TV system. They also are likely to air on at least one commercial station in each market.

(8.13.12) The Campaigns Could Matter
If the presidential candidates shift their focus elsewhere, which now seems quite possible, voters will learn more about their candidates for governor. Good.

(7.30.12) Entrepreneurs Take Umbrage At President’s Comments on Business
RALEIGH — Remarks made July 13 by President Obama about business owners did not sit well with North Carolina entrepreneurs and a business trade association representative who spoke with Carolina Journal.

(7.30.12) Who You Calling a Cohee?
No matter what happens in the gubernatorial election this year, a political string will be broken – our governor will no longer hail from Eastern North Carolina.

(7.27.12) What We Still Don't Know
What we don’t know about the 2012 election would still make for a long list.

(7.25.12) What We Don't Know
What we don’t know about the 2012 election would still make for a long list.

(7.23.12) Southport Megaport Sinking From Lack of Support
RALEIGH — Both major party candidates for governor said they could not support the proposed North Carolina International Terminal, a priority of Govs. Mike Easley and Bev Perdue. But oppponents of the project worry that a future General Assembly could revive it.

(7.20.12) Why Politics Costs So Little
American politicians, parties, and interest groups spend relatively little on their electoral campaigns. And the side that spends the most money doesn’t always win.

(7.18.12) Absence of Voters Leads Experts To Call For Runoff Alternatives
RALEIGH — Election officials and academics called on the General Assembly to scrap the state’s expensive, no-show runoff elections. Second primaries are held when no candidate in the first primary reaches a 40 percent plurality threshold and the second-place finisher requests it.

(7.16.12) Why Politics Costs So Little
American politicians, parties, and interest groups spend relatively little on their electoral campaigns. And the side that spends the most money doesn’t always win.

(7.06.12) North Carolina Democrats Divided On House Health Care Repeal
RALEIGH — Democratic Reps. Mike McIntyre of the 7th District and Larry Kissell of the 8th District say they will vote July 11 to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Retiring Reps. Heath Shuler of the 11th District and Brad Miller of the 13th District have not said what they will do.

(7.02.12) Anticipated Low Turnout Makes Runoff Races Unpredictable
RALEIGH — They are heralding solutions to education woes, an anemic economy, joblessness and illegal immigration, but Republican congressional and lieutenant governor candidates in North Carolina’s July 17 runoff elections lament that their messages will not spark much voter turnout.

(6.22.12) Walter Dalton's Poor Choice
Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton wants a new job. President Barack Obama wants to keep his current job. The two Democrats have the same challenge, however.

(6.18.12) Tedesco Faces Runoff Challenge for State Superintendent
RALEIGH — In his three years on the Wake County school board, John Tedesco helped slash nearly $100 million from his district’s budget, replaced 56 school administrators with eight, and implemented merit-based pay for teachers. But special-education teacher Richard Alexander says he can do better than that if elected state superintendent.

(6.18.12) Walter Dalton's Poor Choice
Dalton will never beat McCrory by trying to convince North Carolinians to stay the course. They don’t want to.

(6.14.12) ‘Rescue Funds’ In Peril If Senate Bill Becomes Law
RALEIGH — Nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Arizona campaign-finance law allowing some candidates to receive "rescue funds" provided by taxpayers, North Carolina lawmakers are pushing a bill that would end a similar system for some elected offices.

(6.13.12) GOP Women Call For Action on Economy, Worry About Health Care
RALEIGH — Republican women lined up Tuesday at state party headquarters to chide President Barack Obama for enacting policies they say have harmed women. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said Obama's agenda has hurt women economically.

(6.11.12) Barack Obama, Wayward Cousin
Barack Obama, my wayward cousin, I feel compelled to inform you that you’ve been embarrassing our family.

(6.08.12) Politics and the Big Sort
Distinct party brands have given voters more information, and made Tar Heel politics more competitive, especially down the ballot.

(6.06.12) Politics and the Big Sort
If you see the two major political parties as more polarized and more ideological than they used to be, congratulations! Your Spidey sense is working.

(5.17.12) The Dalton-McCrory Spread
Just as Republicans shouldn’t have been fooling themselves before this week about McCrory being a shoo-in, Democrats shouldn’t be fooling themselves now.

(5.14.12) Orange County Commission Likely to Move Transit Plan Forward
HILLSBOROUGH – The Orange County Board of Commissioners is expected Tuesday to approve a $1.3 billion light-rail project for Durham and Orange counties and vote June 5 on a half-cent sales tax to fund the controversial transit plan.

(5.11.12) North Carolina In Two Snapshots
You can see the contrasts in North Carolina politics by looking at two snapshots: Orange County in the Triangle and Wilkes County in the west.

(5.11.12) Republicans Poised to Gain Congressional Seats in November
RALEIGH — The combination of redistricting and primary results could help Republicans carry as many as 10 of the state’s 13 congressional seats once the November general election comes around. Currently, Democrats hold a seven-to-six lead in North Carolina’s U.S. House delegation.

(5.11.12) Six Runoff Elections Possible for Council of State Offices
RALEIGH — It remains unclear who the Republican nominees for five powerful executive offices will be. The Democratic nominee for state labor commissioner also has yet to be decided. While Council of State races typically don’t draw much public interest, the winners of the nine offices will have highly influential positions.

(5.10.12) North Carolina In Two Snapshots
You can see the contrasts in North Carolina politics by looking at two snapshots: Orange County in the Triangle and Wilkes County in the west.

(5.10.12) Election Night Brings Upsets, Close Margins in N.C. Legislative Races
RALEIGH — Primary election night Tuesday resulted in several upsets and close races in legislative contests in North Carolina, setting the stage for a competitive general election season this summer and fall. Voter turnout was 35 percent, nipping at the heels of the record-breaking turnout of 37 percent in 2008, another presidential year.

(5.09.12) Marriage Amendment Collects Big Margin, National Attention
RALEIGH — Voters approved the measure 61-39 percent in Tuesday’s primary election. The campaign drew national attention. Each side generated financial support and grass-roots activity from an array of individuals and organizations.

(5.07.12) Dixon and Sager Double-Bunked in House District 4
RALEIGH — State representatives Jimmy Dixon and Efton Sager have a lot in common, and even call each other friends, but the two incumbents have been drawn into the same district, meaning one will have to give up his seat in 2013 after Tuesday's Republican primary.

(5.07.12) Five Republicans Battle to Face Kissell in 8th Congressional District Primary
RALEIGH – A shift in the partisan direction of North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District has given five Republican U.S. House candidates hope of going to Washington. But first up is the May 8 primary and a potential runoff. Richard Hudson, Scott Keadle, Vernon Robinson, Fred Steen, and John Whitley are on the ballot.

(5.07.12) Winner of GOP Primary in House District 82 Will Take Seat in 2013
RALEIGH — Bedrock conservative principles such as limited government, support for the free market, and reducing taxes and regulations reverberate in the House District 82 Republican primary campaigns of appointed incumbent Larry Pittman and challenger Herbert Jay White.

(5.07.12) Romney’s Challenge: Getting Conservatives On Board
Conservatives aren't thrilled with Mitt Romney, but they really dislike President Obama.

(5.04.12) GOP House District 13 Candidates Clamor Over Conservative Credentials
RALEIGH — All three candidates in the 13th U.S. Congressional District Republican primary hold the late U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms in high esteem, but each questions his opponents’ ability to maintain a conservative track record if given a chance to go to Washington.

(5.04.12) Civility The Watchword in House District 3 Primary
RALEIGH – House District 3, redrawn to include all of Pamlico County and portions of Craven and Beaufort counties, is an open district, thanks to a decision by incumbent Rep. Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, to seek the 2nd Senate District seat now held by retiring state Sen. Jean Preston, R-Carteret.

(5.04.12) Five Republicans Fight for Open Seat in Senate District 41
RALEIGH — Five Republicans are competing for the open seat in N.C. Senate District 41 in Mecklenburg County, the most crowded GOP primary in the upper house this year. The district is entirely different from its last iteration under the old maps — which included parts of Gaston, Lincoln, and Iredell counties.

(5.03.12) Some Fearless Predictions, Sort Of
A while back, I predicted that North Carolina’s primary turnout this year would be about the average of the past six presidential-primary years – 25 percent.

(5.03.12) Eight Republicans Hope to Succeed Heath Shuler in 11th Congressional District
RALEIGH — The nonpartisan North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation noted that the 11th was the state’s most Republican district with Democratic representation in Congress before the General Assembly gained control of redistricting. Now, a larger percentage of its voters are registered Republicans.

(5.03.12) May 8 Primary To Decide Winner of House District 59 Seat
GREENSBORO — During last year’s redistricting, House District 59 was redrawn to favor Republicans. The current representative, Democrat Maggie Jeffus of Guilford County, was drawn into the same district as Rep. Pricey Harrison, also a Democrat from Guilford County. No Democrat filed to run in the redrawn 59th District.

(5.03.12) LaRoque and Bell Battle For GOP Nomination in Revamped House District 10
RALEIGH — The 10th District went from a relatively compact district including Greene County and portions of Lenoir and Wayne counties to a district that meanders through four eastern North Carolina counties — Wayne, Greene, Lenoir, and Craven. The demographics of the district have changed also. It went from being a swing district to one that is more favorable to Republicans.

(5.02.12) Sparks Fly In GOP Primary For Senate District 27
GREENSBORO — Trudy Wade and Justin Conrad are adamant that the General Assembly should revisit its decision not to cap the gasoline tax at 35 cents per gallon. Latimer Alexander worries a cap would harm transportation funding.

(5.02.12) Veteran Democrats Crawford, Wilkins Battle in State House District 2
RALEIGH — On May 8, veteran Democratic House legislator Jim Crawford will learn whether he will pay a price for joining with Republicans to override Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of the $19.7 billion state budget. Crawford, one of five House Democrats who did so, is seeking the Democratic nomination for the newly redrawn House District 2.

(5.02.12) Political Insider Challenges ‘Ron Paul’ Republican in Senate District 18
RALEIGH — Chad Barefoot, formerly a policy advisor to House Majority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam, R-Wake, says he disagrees with state Rep. Glen Bradley’s priorities. “Jobs, jobs, jobs” are what voters care most about, Barefoot said, and he intends to give them what they want.

(5.01.12) GOP Primary Contenders for House District 45 Highlight Education
RALEIGH — John Szoka recognizes that education is often thought of as a campaign platform for Democrats, but he and Diane Wheatley, his Republican opponent for North Carolina’s open House District 45 seat, both have layered the public schooling dynamic into their May 8 primary race.

(5.01.12) Three Republicans Face Off in Bid to Take 7th District From McIntyre
RALEIGH — The contenders are Ilario Pantano, David Rouzer, and Randy Crow. The district, which now stretches from Johnston County down to the southeastern coastal corner of North Carolina, has changed through redistricting from a leaning Democratic district to a more competitive, potentially swing district.

(4.30.12) Republicans Duke It Out in Winner-Take-All House District 16 Primary
RALEIGH — A civil engineer, a storm-recovery expert, and a builder are vying for the opportunity to represent the residents of N.C. House District 16 in the state legislature. The stakes are high in this coastal region: Because no Democrat has filed, the winner of the Republican primary May 8 becomes the de facto representative.

(4.30.12) Economy Remains No. 1 Issue in N.C. House District 9
RALEIGH — Republicans Jack Wall and Brian Brown will compete in the May 8 primary for the North Carolina House District 9 seat currently held by six-term Democrat Marian McLawhorn. The winner will face McLawhorn in November.

(4.27.12) David Parker Didn't Do It
If North Carolina Democrats have a horrible cycle this year, you can be sure that candidates and activists will try to blame the recent sexual-harassment mess at party headquarters.

(4.27.12) Lower Taxes, Job Growth Top Priorities in N.C. House District 1 Race
RALEIGH — House District 1, encompassing six coastal counties, favors Democrats in voter registration: more than 45 percent, or 25,851, of the district’s 57,202 voters are registered Democrats. But many of those voters opt to support Republicans.

(4.26.12) After Myrick’s Retirement, Candidates Jockey for Position (Part 1)
RALEIGH — Repealing the federal Dodd-Frank financial regulations which they say decimated Charlotte as a financial center and scrapping the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are major objectives of candidates in the May 8 Republican primary for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

(4.26.12) After Myrick’s Retirement, Candidates Jockey for Position (Part 2)
RALEIGH — Ten candidates are lined up to seek the Republican nomination in the 9th Congressional District, and each is trying to distuinquish himself during the weeks leading up to North Carolina’s May 8 primary.

(4.26.12) Two GOP Candidates Vie in Independent-Minded House Dist. 92
Two Republicans hope to gain their party’s nomination to represent District 92 in the state House, a district that begins near Lake Norman and stretches southward to Lake Wylie, hugging the western boundary of Mecklenburg County along the way.

(4.25.12) Three Transportation Governors
During the past century, education has usually trumped transportation as an election issue. But every 30 years or so, a North Carolina governor has made the issue his own.

(4.25.12) GOP Candidates in Senate District 44 Talk Jobs and Economic Growth
RALEIGH — The newly drawn 44th District is a solid GOP district. The majority of voters in the district — 56 percent — reside in Iredell County, with 39 percent living in Lincoln County and the remaining 5 percent living in Gaston County.

(4.24.12) Five Republicans Seek Beth Wood’s Job as State Auditor
RALEIGH — The five Republicans running for state auditor say incumbent Democrat Beth Wood has been weak in rooting out waste, fraud, and inefficiency in state government. Lack of transparency, selective auditing, and inefficient use of staff resources plague the office, they say.

(4.23.12) David Parker Didn’t Do It
If North Carolina Democrats have a horrible cycle this year, you can be sure that some will try to blame the recent sexual-harassment mess at party headquarters.

(4.23.12) Three Contend for Democratic Nomination in 10th Congressional District
RALEIGH — Three Democrats are battling for the nomination for the 10th District seat in Congress, where the winner hopes to replace U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, a four-term Republican they say isn’t adequately representing the needs and views of the district that sits in the southwestern part of the state.

(4.20.12) Four GOP Contenders Say Secretary of State's Office Shortchanges Businesses
RALEIGH — Four candidates are squaring off in the May 8 Republican primary for the right to challenge incumbent Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall in the November general election.

(4.19.12) Challenger Says Incumbent Sen. Bingham Has Violated Republican Principles
RALEIGH — Because no Democrat has filed in the district, the winner of the Republican primary May 8 will take the seat. Republicans have a decided advantage in voter registration in state Senate District 33.

(4.19.12) N.C. Democratic Party Chair David Parker Refuses to Resign
RALEIGH — Notwithstanding David Parker’s early departure, the chairman will remain the titular head of the party as Democrats welcome President Obama to North Carolina for an official visit Wednesday and as voters head to the polls in the May 8 primary.

(4.18.12) Two Republicans Seek Senate Seat Held For a Generation by Basnight
RALEIGH — Both Rep. Bill Cook and real estate broker Jerry Evans describe themselves as fiscal conservatives and say government is too intrusive. And both say residents want new blood in the legislative seat held for nearly three decades by Democrat Marc Basnight, the former Senate president pro tem.

(4.16.12) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Dominate Primary in State Senate District 25
RALEIGH — With unemployment at 17.8 percent in Scotland County and averaging 13.3 percent in the district’s five counties, state Senate District 25 is awash in candidate promises to do something about education, work force training, and job creation.

(4.16.12) Four-Way Primary Has Republicans Battling to Replace Faison
RALEIGH — When Bill Faison decided to forgo running for re-election to the state House and run for governor, few would have predicted that his heavily Democratic district would provoke so much interest from Republicans. The GOP contenders think newly drawn district lines are cause for hope.

(4.11.12) Three GOP Contenders Vie For House District 6
RALEIGH — The three Republican candidates say they are for limited government, smaller state budgets, reduced taxes, and eliminating federal intervention and environmental regulations that are destroying the beach-and-tourism economy of House District 6.

(4.09.12) GOP Superintendent Candidate Would Put Himself Out of a Job
RALEIGH — Richard Alexander, a special-education teacher from Monroe, wants to convert the elected post of state schools superintendent into an appointed position, similar to the U.S. secretary of education. Alexander stands alone in supporting the shift.

(3.29.12) Perdue Aircraft Provider Seeks GOP Senate Seat
RALEIGH — Either Randy Ramsey or Jarrett Bay Boatworks is connected with at least four flights provided to the 2008 Perdue campaign for governor, based on records from an investigation by the State Board of Elections. Ramsey says he recalls providing two of the flights.

(3.29.12) Good Reads on Political Prediction
I never bought the “economic data explains all” theory of politics. And now there is even more reason to be skeptical, thanks to a new analysis of presidential predictions.

(3.27.12) Obama Could Win By Losing
Unfortunately for the president and his party, events have conspired to put the media spotlight squarely on health care.

(3.26.12) Key State and Federal Primaries to Watch in 2012
RALEIGH — By the close of the filing deadline in late February, 75 candidates had filed for congressional office, 54 candidates for executive-level office, and 413 for legislative office. Forty-four seats in the legislature, two executive-level posts, and three seats in Congress are without an incumbent.

(3.21.12) The Key Unanswered Question
In all three scenarios, Pat McCrory wins the governor’s race, the GOP picks up congressional seats, and the GOP continues to control the legislature.

(3.19.12) Freshman Renee Ellmers Draws a Trio of GOP Challengers
RALEIGH — Renee Ellmers won — barely — in 2010 in a congressional district that had 51 percent registered Democrats, 28 percent registered Republicans, and 21 percent unaffiliated. Under the new maps, voter registration is 38 percent Democrat, 36 percent Republican, and 26 percent unaffiliated.

(3.14.12) More on Mitt's Math
The Republican presidential contest might be running contemporaneously with the NCAA basketball tournament at the moment, but the two sports have little in common.

(3.09.12) Political Cooperation Isn't Dead
It’s an election year, and both major political parties have an interest in accentuating the differences between Democratic and Republican candidates for governor, legislature, and other North Carolina offices.

(3.08.12) Runoff Fever Could Hit North Carolina This Summer
RALEIGH — At the congressional level, four of North Carolina’s primaries, all Republican, have four or more candidates competing: the 2nd, 8th, 9th, and 11th districts. In the primary for governor, six Republicans and six Democrats have filed, plus one Libertarian.

(3.07.12) Railroads Won’t Say If They’re On Board With Wake County Transit Plan
RALEIGH — As county commissioners consider whether to put a “transit” tax — a half-cent sales tax increase — on this year's ballot to pay for the estimated $4.6 billion rail project, the railroad companies that must provide access to their lines haven’t signed off on the proposal.

(3.07.12) The Math Behind Mitt
Many GOP politicians wanted Romney at the top of the ticket rather than Santorum or Gingrich because they thought he posed less of a risk to their own electoral prospects.

(3.05.12) A ‘Gerrymander’ or ‘Dummymander’?
RALEIGH — Several political analysts note that the impact of a gerrymandered redistricting plan diminishes over time as political and demographic factors shift. That presents opportunities for the political party not in power — in this case, the Democrats — to make inroads.

(3.01.12) An Eventful Week in Politics
Democrats may have left too many potentially competitive seats on the table to pose a realistic challenge to overturn the GOP’s legislative majorities.

(3.01.12) Races Take Shape as 2012 Primary Season Officially Gets Underway
RALEIGH — For 32 candidates vying to win a seat in the state legislature, the election ended at noon Wednesday — and they all won. That’s the combined number of House and Senate candidates who weren’t challenged to a primary and who won’t have opposition in the general election.

(2.28.12) More on the Democratic Field
If Democratic strategists come to the same conclusion in the coming months, they might well decide to shift their focus and resources to more promising opportunities.

(2.27.12) A Charge Too Far
Perdue is simply mistaken on economic policy and sometimes fails to communicate effectively. Neither failing reflects on her intelligence.

(2.16.12) The Real Story on Redistricting
To suggest that the Republican line-drawers waged a war on women, you have to believe that they passed up easy victories against Democratic men in order to target Democratic women.

(2.10.12) North Carolina's Triple-Crown Election
In 2012, it’s fair to say that Republicans will be playing offense in statewide races while Democrats will be playing offense in legislative races.

(2.09.12) Dems Should Go Moore Blue
There is room in the gubernatorial race for both Richard Moore, the former state treasurer, and state Sen. Dan Blue, the former speaker of the North Carolina House.

(2.03.12) Don’t Forget Council of State Races
The nine Council of State members have extensive responsibilities and control a lot of taxpayer money.

(2.02.12) Born a Gambling Man?
I don’t think the liberal base of the Democratic Party will meekly accept an Erskine Bowles coronation for governor.

(1.31.12) Federal Election Reform Commission Advocated Voter Photo ID
RALEIGH — Critics of requiring voters to present a photo ID at the polls say the practice would disenfranchise minority voters, and some even accuse proponents of being motivated by racism. They don’t mention, however, that a 21-member bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter, advocated just such a policy in 2005.

(1.30.12) Quick Analysis of a Quick Race
I’m not convinced that Erskine Bowles will run, or that he would necessarily get the nomination.

(1.30.12) Redistricting Weakens Republicans in Two N.C. Congressional Districts
RALEIGH — Partisan map-drawers must weaken their party’s power in certain districts to strengthen their power in others. GOP lawmakers diluted Democratic strength in key congressional districts at the expense of the incumbents in the 3rd and 6th districts.

(1.27.12) Perdue Shocker Creates More Work
When North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue rocked the political establishment January 26 by announcing her plans not to run for reelection, she made history.

(1.27.12) Perdue Shocker Creates More Work
When Gov. Bev Perdue rocked the political establishment Thursday by announcing her plans not to run for reelection, she made history.

(1.26.12) Perdue Won’t Run for a Second Term
RALEIGH — (Updated) Bev Perdue, the state’s first female governor, today announced she will not seek a second term. In a statement, the governor cited partisanship as a reason for her decision.

(1.26.12) Last Stand for the NCAE?
If the courts uphold a law preventing payroll deductions of teacher union dues, the North Carolina Association of Educators could become nothing more than another interest group.

(1.25.12) Texas Redistricting Case Could Bolster N.C. Republicans
RALEIGH — Similar to the lawsuit in North Carolina, the Texas suit claimed that Republicans in the legislature illegally diluted the voting power of black and Latino residents. Legal experts say that the case’s impact could reach to the Tar Heel State.

(1.24.12) Tillis, Berger Challenge Perdue to Public Debate on Tax Hikes
RALEIGH — The challenge from Republican leaders comes a week after Perdue announced that she would include a sales tax increase in her proposed budget for the new fiscal year. She wants to dedicate the additional funds to public schools.

(1.18.12) Perdue in the Broiler
Perdue is an experienced lawmaker and successful politician, but for whatever reason she lacks the skills, judgment, and advice necessary to craft a realistic path to reelection.

(1.17.12) Delayed Election Schedule Could Help Vulnerable Democrats in 2012
RALEIGH — Under the present schedule, North Carolina’s primary is May 8, and a runoff election, if needed, is June 26. But a motion filed by Democrats and civil rights groups calls for the primary and runoff to be deferred two months. The first primary would be held July 10, and a runoff Aug. 28.

(1.17.12) N.C. Democrats Grapple Over Who is More Willing to Raise Taxes
RALEIGH — The Republican-led legislature allowed a temporary 0.75 cent tax increase to sunset in June. Democrats claim the tax-hike expiration forced draconian cuts to public education, while Republicans say layoffs haven’t been extreme and the private market has benefited from the decreased tax rate.

(1.13.12) Table Set for 2012 Elections
The redrawn congressional map endangers the reelection of at least two Democratic incumbents, Brad Miller and Larry Kissell, and possibly Mike McIntyre and Heath Shuler.

(1.11.12) Table Set for 2012 Elections
The redrawn congressional map endangers the reelection of at least two Democratic incumbents, Brad Miller and Larry Kissell, and possibly Mike McIntyre and Heath Shuler.

(1.10.12) Gallup's Good News for the GOP
The real news is that independents are leaning Republican, fully offsetting the Democratic edge in party affiliation. When that happens, the GOP usually has a good year.

(1.06.12) A Carolinian's Growth Manifesto
The president was personally liked. But his policies were failing.

(1.03.12) The Raging Moderate Ron Paul
Any political shorthand that has the effect of equating the ideological positions of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul is a political shorthand with severe limitations.

(1.02.12) Reading the Santorum Surge
After Gingrich began to fade last week, pundits and occasionally Romney supporters themselves began to set expectations too high for him.

(12.27.11) N.C. Statewide Executive Races Ripe for Competition in 2012
RALEIGH — Two dozen candidates have expressed in running for one of the nine statewide executive-level offices. Aside from lieutenant governor, the remaining Council of State officials may be elected for an unlimited number of terms.

(12.15.11) Another Perdue Veto, Another Blow
Whatever discontent there may be among liberal Democrats, they are going to turn out in 2012 for President Obama. Most will vote for Perdue. Her real problem is among swing voters.

(12.13.11) The Mecklenburg Blessing
If you just let vote totals drive your analysis, you should conclude that North Carolina Republicans do best when they nominate Mecklenburg politicians for governor.

(12.12.11) Republicans See Chance in 2012 to End Democrats’ Dominance of DPI
RALEIGH — So far, no other executive-level office in North Carolina has attracted as much interest as the race for superintendent of public instruction. So far, seven candidates from both parties have suggested they may run for the position.

(12.08.11) N.C. House Speaker Pro Tem Won’t Seek Another Term in 2012
RALEIGH — A certified public accountant and investment advisor, Rep. Dale Folwell has served in the General Assembly since 2005. After Republicans took control of the House in 2011, Folwell was elected speaker pro tem, the No. 2 position in that chamber.

(12.02.11) Perdue's Really Bad Week
There is no evidence that, all other factors being equal, blacks are more likely to be executed than whites.

(11.30.11) Perdue's Really Bad Week
There is no evidence that, all other factors being equal, blacks are more likely to be executed than whites.

(11.25.11) Of Politicians Otherwise Occupied
The suddenly inconvenient fact, you see, is that the Occupy movement was largely a creation of freaks, socialists, and left-wing kooks.

(11.22.11) N.C. Blue Dogs Prep For ’12 With Vote on Balanced Budget Amendment
RALEIGH — Political experts say the vote should ingratiate North Carolina's moderate Democratic representatives with more conservative voters. Their districts have been reconfigured by General Assembly Republicans to hold more GOP voters.

(11.08.11) Redistricting Lawsuits Could Delay Primary in ’12
RALEIGH — Lawsuits over a new redistricting plan could mean that the May 2012 primary will be put off for months. This could complicate both the short session of the legislature and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

(10.17.11) 11th District Republican Takes Bonded Term Limits Pledge
RALEIGH — Dan Eichenbaum, an ophthalmologist from Murphy, has made a binding commitment obligating himself to give $500,000 to charity if he gets too comfortable with life inside the Washington, D.C., beltway.

(9.26.11) Marriage Referendum Will Have Political Consequences in Primary
RALEIGH — In response to Democrats’ concerns that a ballot question in the fall would drive higher turnout among conservative voters (hurting Democrats’ chances), Republican sponsors booked the referendum for the May 2012 primary election.