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Easley, Ballantine Expect Voter Turnout Will Be Key In Gubernatorial Race

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Most polls show the race for governor is not very tight, but incumbent Gov. Mike Easley and Republican challenger Patrick Ballantine believe high turnout could make the outcome unpredictable.

The day before the election, both men are in high spirits. Despite the lead in the polls, Easley claims he is not overconfident.

"I don't trust polls that much, especially when you have an extremely large turnout. You have so many new voters, so many early voters," Easley said. "It's just very difficult to determine which way they're going. The best thing I can do is to do my job and do it well and hope for the best."

"With the huge turnout, throw the polls out the window. We have intensity. We have energy. We have grassroots army of volunteers out there," Ballantine said.

During a six-city flyaround of the state, Ballantine used the political star power of Sen. Elizabeth Dole to prove he is not giving up.

"We're going to make history tomorrow by defeating an incumbent. He does not deserve to be re-elected. The people of North Carolina are hungry for new leadership, and we are going to show it tomorrow," he said.

Following a Democratic rally in downtown Raleigh, Easley worked in a job announcement timed one day before the election.

"I want to speak for myself and what I'm committed to and that is education, economic development and infrastructure of this state," he said.

"I have a job announcement -- 5,600 job losses last month alone," Ballantine said.

While Ballantine flew across the state to different campaign spots, Easley took a different approach. He traveled to Rockingham County to announce a company is creating 300 jobs in an old Pillowtex plant.

Ballantine ends his six-city tour in Wilmington Monday night, where he will be for Election Day. Easley will be in Raleigh.


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