Dome: Romney to appear in Morrisville on Sunday


Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will make his first public appearance in the Triangle Sunday, when his bus tour stops for a rally at Smokey’s Shack in Morrisville.

Romney is taking a several-day bus tour, starting in Virginia. His one scheduled stop in North Carolina will be at 4 p.m. at Smokey’s at 10800 Chapel Hill Road. There was no immediate information available on tickets.

This will be Romney’s first public appearance in the area. He attended a private fundraiser at the Angus Barn in April. There has been some speculation that Romney might name his vice presidential running mate before the bus trip.

Miss. governor stumps in N.C.

The governor of Mississippi will barnstorm North Carolina this week for the national Republican ticket, in what could be seen as political payback for Gov. Bev Perdue’s comments about his state.

Gov. Phil Bryant is scheduled to campaign for Romney in New Bern and Wilmington on Wednesday, and on Oak Island on Thursday. It was in May after North Carolina voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment declaring that a marriage is between a man and woman, that Perdue said “People are saying what in the world is going on with North Carolina? We look like Mississippi.”

At the time, Bryant said Perdue’s comments were “very disappointing.”

“To be able to use Mississippi in a disparaging way on a popular vote in her state is, I think, something that’s certainly petty and something I think she will reflect on and hopefully apologize for those types of remarks,” Bryant said.

Court time with Obama

If you “like Mike” and support Barack Obama, someone on the president’s campaign staff was thinking of you.

Obama for America is running a fundraising contest that will let a few lucky fans get on the court with the president and some of basketball’s all-time greats, not the least of whom is Michael Jordan. A donation of at least $3 on is required to enter, and the deadline is Friday.

The “Obama Classic,” as the campaign is dubbing the event, will also include appearances by Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Sheryl Swoops and others yet to be named.

Two people will each take a guest to an event that will include a shoot-around. Round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations will be provided.

The time and location of the event have not been decided.

Senate GOP gears up

North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger has unveiled the Republican Senate caucus’ leadership team for re-election efforts this fall.

Berger and 10 other senators will lead the charge on campaigning and fundraising efforts. The following comprise the group: Tom Apodaca of Henderson County, Berger of Rockingham County, Harry Brown of Onslow County, Pete Brunstetter of Forsyth County, Rick Gunn of Alamance County, Kathy Harrington of Gaston County, Brent Jackson of Sampson County, Buck Newton of Wilson County, Bill Rabon of Brunswick County, Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County and Jerry Tillman of Randolph County.

“The committee members ... are in districts that allow them to campaign and raise funds for candidates in more competitive races,” Berger said in a release Tuesday.

Poll shows edge for Obama

Obama appears to hold a narrow lead over Romney in North Carolina, according to a new poll.

Obama leads Romney 49 percent to 46 percent, according to a survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm based in Raleigh. The lead is within the margin of sampling error.

With both sides pounding each other over the airwaves, the PPP survey found that Obama had picked up two points in his approval rating, while Romney’s favorability rating had dropped five points. It also found that Obama had picked up 12 points among independent voters in the last month, although Romney still holds a 48-44 percent edge among that group.

The poll also found a huge difference between new and old-time North Carolina residents. Obama leads among those who have lived in the state for 10 years or less by 39 points. Romney leads among those who have lived in North Carolina by 40 years or more by 14 points.

The spin: “North Carolina continues to be one of the closest states in the country,” said Dean Debnam, president of PPP. “Month after month we find Barack Obama and Mitt Romney polling within three points of each other.’’

PPP surveyed 813 likely North Carolina voters from Aug. 2-5. The survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

In other recent polls: Rasmussen Reports has shown Romney up 49-44; Civitas Institute has shown Romney up 49-48; PPP has shown Obama up 47-46; and Project New American has shown Romney up 49-48.

Staff writers Rob Christensen and Austin Baird

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