Local Politics

N.C. battle lines drawn in run-up to election

Posted October 3, 2008

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— With less than five weeks until the presidential election, Democrats continue to pour resources into North Carolina in an effort to win the state for the first time in 32 years.

Barack Obama will make his third visit to the state in recent weeks when he attends a Sunday rally in Asheville, and the campaign continues to open offices in smaller towns like Fuquay-Varina.

Meanwhile, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin plans to attend a Tuesday rally in Greenville, marking the first visit by her or running mate John McCain this fall.

"You've only got two resources to spend in a campaign – you've got time and money," Democratic consultant Gary Pearce said. "They don't come here – both sides – unless they really think this is a competitive state. The Democrats obviously think we can win it – we can steal one from the Republicans – and the Republican campaign thinks, 'We can't lose North Carolina.'"

Recent polls show voter dissatisfaction with the national economy is boosting Obama's candidacy in North Carolina.

A WRAL News poll released Thursday gave him a 50 to 47 percent edge over Republican John McCain, with most of those surveyed saying the economy is bad and getting worse.

In an Elon University poll released Friday, twice as many people blamed Republicans for current economic problems as said Democrats were at fault. Both parties garnered 39 percent support in the poll, with 17 percent still undecided.

"Maybe it is a winnable state," Pearce said.

McCain's decision Thursday to pull staff and money out of Michigan, conceding to Obama what had been considered a battleground state, could result in more emphasis on North Carolina in the coming weeks, he said.

"A lot can change in a month, but the fact that (the candidates are) here in October ... says everything you need to know about this race," he said.

Unlike Michigan, Republicans said they have no intention of giving up on North Carolina.

"We don't ever take anything for granted. That is a great way to lose an election," said Linda Daves, chairwoman of the North Carolina Republican Party.

The news of Palin's visit has energized the GOP statewide, Daves said.

"We literally have lines of volunteers waiting to come in and get in the door of some of our campaign headquarters, waiting to do some work," she said. "It shows our commitment and our seriousness to not allow Barack Obama to come in and really think that he can own North Carolina."

Pearce said making McCain and Palin play defense to shore up support in North Carolina will help Obama elsewhere, even if he doesn't eventually carry the state.

"If he wins North Carolina, he's going to win a big landslide nationally. If he comes close in North Carolina, that's a good sign nationally. So right now, the trend looks awfully good for Obama and the Democrats," he said.

Daves said she expects McCain to regain momentum over the next two weeks as he and Obama debate twice more.

"I think you're going to find, when you sit the two candidates down, people are going to say, 'Let's listen' and, once again. 'We see the difference between rhetoric and experience,'" she said.

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  • Navy Vet Oct 3, 2008

    I believe that we can agree that "CAREER POLITICIANS" and the Culture that having people serve thier lifetimes insulated "from the public" IS THE PROBLEM. We need Citizens to serve and then leave. We need TERM LIMITS.

  • davidgnews Oct 3, 2008

    Spending more money now will just exacerbate the government's financial problems.

    Not only that, it will make them worse.

  • Adelinthe Oct 3, 2008

    methinksthis - "We do not need higher taxes on anyone at this time. We do not need more government programs that add to the deficit."

    AMEN, AND AMEN!!!

    Spending more money now will just exacerbate the government's financial problems. Cut payrolls and eliminate pork, now that'll help.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • bs101fly Oct 3, 2008

    "ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD BELIEVE IT!! "

    Yep, only an idiot would believe the "awe shucks, you betcha, awe come on now, Joe 6pack, wink wink, there ya' go again, hockey moms, soccer moms, who's driving the van moms, wink wink, awe now, drill baby drill, i'm tellin' ya' straight, no gay marriage, wink wink ..."
    goofy demeanor unqualified gun toting moose cleaning no tax paying and NO CLUE Palin!

    OBAMA/BIDEN PERIOD!
    If it ain't better in 4 years you can have it back!
    'aye!

  • Navy Vet Oct 3, 2008

    Less taxes for those making under 250,000 under Obama plan, no taxes on company provided healthcare benefits values, no more giving breaks to companies that havent created jobs for the US in YEARS, a veep that knows what he is talking about.

    This is a no brainer.

    YEP YOUR RIGHT....ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD BELIEVE IT!!
    PALIN / McCain 08!!

  • 5Rs Oct 3, 2008

    The Democrats cried "recession" the first 6 years of Bush. It only took them two years to make it happen once they got control of Congress, but they blame it all on the Reps. Obama is another Jimmy Carter - if you think it is bad now wait four years. Impotence in the economy, impotence in international affairs, and a talker in the White House. Adding to Government is a no-brainer - anyone who does it has no brains.

  • TurboRockShow Oct 3, 2008

    Gay marriage for NC now!

  • J. Noble Daggett Oct 3, 2008

    Less taxes for those making under 250,000 under Obama plan, no taxes on company provided healthcare benefits values, no more giving breaks to companies that havent created jobs for the US in YEARS, a veep that knows what he is talking about. This is a no brainer.

    OBAMA-BIDEN 08 IN NORTH CAROLINA

  • heldensoul Oct 3, 2008

    if obama lacks experience in the political arena as it is today (and has been for a good many years) i don't think that's such a bad thing. truly, i don't think any politician really gives a care about the people unless it's election time. mr. obama is for me simply the lesser of two evils.

  • bs101fly Oct 3, 2008

    "Sarah and Todd Palin underpaid their estimated taxes with an April extension"

    Awe shucks, just another right winger preaching one thing and doing another.
    Might want to get an account to help with Todd's Iditarod winnings next year!
    You'll have plenty of time to find one once you get back to the tundra.
    FOR GOOD!

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