Local Politics

Dole, Hagan race across state in final day of campaign

Posted November 3, 2008 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated November 3, 2008 7:37 p.m. EST

— U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole and Democratic challenger Kay Hagan entered the last full day of campaigning Monday, moving throughout the state in an effort to secure a victory on Election Day.

Dole scheduled seven stops on an airplane flight around the state Monday, beginning and ending in Charlotte at a middle-school rally with Republican gubernatorial candidate Mayor Pat McCrory.

Meanwhile, Hagan, a state senator from Greensboro, met with voters at several morning events in Wilmington, New Bern and Goldsboro before heading to Charlotte to join Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

Both candidates remained confident despite poll numbers last week that put the two candidates in a tight race.

A WRAL News poll released Wednesday showed Dole holds a 46 to 42 percent lead, with 9 percent of voters still undecided. A Rasmeusen poll showed Hagan has a 52 to 46 percent lead. And a third poll by The Associated Press-Gfk showed Hagan slightly ahead of Dole.

But Hagan, a state senator from Greensboro, said "the biggest poll" comes Tuesday night, and she expects to to talk with voters about the issues with 20 scheduled stops at voting sites across the state Tuesday.

"I'm ready to go to Washington to represent the people of North Carolina," Hagan said at a stop at Wilber's Barbecue in Goldsboro Monday.

The one-term Republican Dole is trying to avoid getting swept up in a potential Democratic string of Senate victories on Tuesday.

Hagan has said Dole is too closely aligned with President Bush and has sided with special interests during her six years on Capitol Hill.

At a stop at Raleigh-Durham International Airport Monday, Dole focused her priorities for the state, which include a strong economy, low taxes, funded roads and bridges and immigration.

She has also accused Hagan of being wobbly on the most important issues of the day, including Iraq and the banking bailout.

Dole said if Hagan is elected "she'll be Harry Reid's pocket as soon as she gets there," a reference to the Democratic Senate majority leader.

She has also questioned ties that she said Hagan has to Godless Americans Political Action Committee, because she went to a fundraiser at the home of a Boston man who serves as an adviser to the atheist advocacy group.

Last week, Hagan sued Dole over an ad questioning why she went to the event. Hagan accuses her of defamation and libel and says the spot is an attack on her Christian faith.

Dole said Monday she has no request about the ad and has said it doesn't question Hagan's faith, only her agenda and associations.

The event was not billed as a Godless Americans event, and other hosts included an ambassador and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee.