Dome: Poll finds no post-debate bump in N.C. for Romney

FROM STAFF REPORTSOctober 11, 2012 

Mitt Romney apparently did not receive a bump in North Carolina after his strong debate performance last week, a new poll suggests.

A Rasmussen Reports poll released Thursday found Romney leading President Barack Obama in North Carolina by a 51-48 percent margin. The survey was taken Tuesday, about a week after the debate.

That is about the same lead Romney had in the last Rasmussen Reports poll taken before the debate. That survey, conducted Oct. 2, showed Romney leading Obama by a 51 to 47 percent margin.

Romney has held steady at 51 percent support throughout the fall, while Obama’s support has inched up from 45 percent in September to 47 percent a week ago and 48 percent now, according to Rasmussen.

Rasmussen, which generally has findings slightly more favorable to Republicans than other polls, says the race remains a toss-up. The survey of 500 voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Employees group touts Coleman

The State Employees Association of North Carolina launched a statewide ad supporting Democrat Linda Coleman in the lieutenant governor’s race that says her GOP opponent, Dan Forest, holds extreme positions on the minimum wage and women’s health care. The initial media buy is $200,000, according to SEANC. Take a look: http://bit.ly/UMyvKD.

Mass. governor touts Obama

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick visits North Carolina on Friday to tout Obama’s investments in innovation, the latest in a series of surrogates flooding the state this week.

Patrick will attend an event at an Obama office in Charlotte at 10:45 a.m. before traveling to Raleigh for a 3 p.m. event at HUB Raleigh, an entrepreneurial workspace. While in town he is not scheduled to do anything for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton’s campaign.

Congressman David Price, former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and Durham Mayor Bill Bell will join Patrick at the Raleigh event. In addition to Patrick, Jill Biden (Vice President Joe Biden’s wife) and House Speaker John Boehner will campaign in the state this weekend.

Payday loan issue resurfaces

The state Legislative Black Caucus announced Thursday that it is among the North Carolina groups concerned about Regions Bank’s revival of payday-style loans.

North Carolina was the first state in the nation to shut down payday-lending outlets. After a law that authorized payday lending was allowed to expire in 2001, some lenders continued to operate by forming partnerships with out-of-state banks, which they argued exempted them from North Carolina law.

Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr., chairman of the caucus, sent a letter to the Alabama-based bank’s CEO, O.B. Grayson Hall.

“We are deeply concerned about recent reports of Regions Bank offering its ‘Ready Advance’ payday loans in North Carolina,” McKissick wrote. “High-cost, short-term balloon loans like these sharply increase the financial distress of families under economic strain.”

The bank has argued the loans its offering are similar to but different from payday loans.

“It is not a payday loan,” said Evelyn Mitchell, the bank spokeswoman. One of the differences, she said, is that “we don’t allow people to roll that loan over. You can’t take out another loan to pay back your existing loan.”

State Attorney Gen. Roy Cooper is looking for a way to shut down Regions’ Ready Advance loan, which he considers to be a payday loan.

“We do not want North Carolina consumers subjected to payday loans,” Cooper said. “Payday loans are like a consumer needing a life preserver being thrown an anvil. It gets them on a debt treadmill, oftentimes.”

Staff writers Rob Christensen, Lynn Bonner and Austin Baird

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