Local News

GOP, Democrats step up campaigning in N.C.

Posted September 20, 2008 3:01 p.m. EDT

— Republicans and Democrats stepped up campaigning for state offices, often overshadowed by national races, this weekend.

The North Carolina Republican Party was conducting what it called "Super Saturday." Thousands of volunteers were to make a grassroots effort, making phone calls and knocking on doors.

Volunteers will explain "why John McCain, Elizabeth Dole, Pat McCrory and the entire Republican ticket are the right leaders for North Carolina," a press release said.

Republicans planned to target Raleigh, Wilmington, Winston-Salem, Charlotte and Asheville.

Meanwhile, Democratic state Sen. Kay Hagan planned to keep campaigning on health care and women's issues. Hagan is fighting Dole for her United States Senate seat.

Hagan was scheduled to visit the Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, which is the largest facility of its type in the state.

Campaign officials said Hagan would press for adequate federal funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

She was also to speak at the Democratic Women of North Carolina's annual convention in Greensboro and tour the Carolinas Meciane Center Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte.

The campaign efforts come as recent polls indicate a tight race for both the Governor's Office and U.S. Senate.

McCrory, the mayor of Charlotte, and his Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, are locked in a virtual dead heat. An Elon University Poll released Friday found that 37.2 percent of respondents plan to vote Republican in the governor's race, while 34.8 percent said they would vote Democratic.

Hagan and Dole are also locked in a tight race with Dole in the same poll. Among those surveyed, 35.3 percent said they planned to vote Democratic in the Senate race, while 34.8 percent said they would vote Republican. Almost a quarter of the voters were still undecided.

The poll was based on interviews with 411 people statewide this week and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.