Dome: Survey shows Dollar has slim lead over challenger

FROM STAFF REPORTSOctober 18, 2012 

High-ranking Republican state House member Nelson Dollar of Cary has a surprisingly narrow lead over his Democratic challenger, political newcomer Lisa Baker, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.

Dollar, a four-term representative who is chairman of several key committees, edges out Baker 47 to 43, with 10 percent of respondents undecided.

The survey of 700 likely voters in District 36 was conducted on Oct. 2 and 3, and has a margin of error of 3.7 percent. Public Policy Polling is a Democratic-leaning polling firm.

A breakdown of undecided voters suggests they could be more favorable to Baker than Dollar, with a larger sampling of female and minority voters than the overall population of the district. Thirty-one percent of the undecideds are Democrats, 18 percent Republican and half independents.

‘Elevator Queen’ is OK

Republican Cherie Berry is embracing her moniker as the Elevator Queen.

A new TV ad posted to her campaign website this week shows the state labor secretary talking from her photograph on the safety certification notice affixed to elevators across North Carolina. The 15-second spot starts with the sound of an elevator and touts workplace safety.

Berry is mocked on Twitter by an account, @ElevatorQueen. In an interview, Berry said she enjoys reading her parody self, especially when it interacts with the faux accounts for Gov. Bev Perdue (@GovBevPerdue) and Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler (@SexyTractorMan).

“I don’t know who’s doing it, but it’s pretty funny,” she said.

Berry’s rival in the election Nov. 6 is Democrat John Brooks.

Check it out at

Which building to fix?

The Capitol Building looks like a bomb scene from Baghdad or Bosnia in Democrat Erv Portman’s new mailer. Terrorists? Sherman? Nope, the legislature.

“The North Carolina legislature is broken,” the caption reads. “It’s time for a businessman to fix it.”

The altered image shows a corner chunk of the Capitol damaged with windows shattered and a pile of rubble on the sidewalk. The Democratic Party paid for the ad, which Portman approved.

A spokesman said it is a stock image but couldn’t identify the original image. Portman is seeking a state Senate seat vacated by retiring Sen. Richard Stevens.

Not to mention: The legislature doesn’t meet at the Capitol. Portman may need directions if elected.

In an interview Wednesday, he said he knows it’s not the legislative building. “I don’t know why my ad people did that. I guess it’s just more iconic of state government,” he said.

McCrory irons his coattails

Pat McCrory is feeling so good about his race that he’s starting to throw his support behind legislative candidates that may benefit from his potential coattails.

The Republican candidate endorsed state Rep. Tom Murry’s re-election Thursday. “I’m supporting Tom Murry as part of the comeback team here in North Carolina,” McCrory said in a statement, referencing his “comeback” campaign slogan.

Murry, a first-term Republican, faces a tough battle to keep his seat against Democrat Jim Messina. It’s one of the closest N.C. House races this year.

McCrory is ahead by double-digits in his race against Democrat Walter Dalton.

Meanwhile, Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht has endorsed Messina, on the heels of an endorsement from Morrisville Mayor Jackie Holcombe.

“The current leadership of the General Assembly has enacted policies that limit control by local municipalities creating a direct negative impact on communities around the state,” Messina said in a statement.

Staff writers Austin Baird and John Frank

Send tips to

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service