Following a PPP poll on Thursday that showed incumbent state Rep. Nelson Dollar leading Democratic challenger Lisa Baker by only four percentage points, Dollar on Friday released a poll giving him a strong lead.
The survey with live callers (as opposed to automated calls) taken Tuesday and Wednesday shows Dollar leading by 47 to 32 percent.
It was conducted by the national firm TelOpinion Research LLC, which the North Carolina GOP uses, and was a survey of 300 likely voters. (Update: The margin of error in the new poll was 5.7 percent).
The PPP poll, conducted by a Democratic firm, was of 700 likely voters and had a margin of error of 3.7 percent.
Nelson, a Cary Republican, is a four-term incumbent who chairs several key committees. He lays claim to never having missed a floor vote – 7,350 in all.
Super PACs pour into 7th race
The big guns are out in full force now. In what is already one of the most expensive congressional races in the country, North Carolina’s 7th District is getting another infusion of super PAC money from national interests.
The Congressional Leadership Fund’s first ad against incumbent Democrat Rep. Mike McIntyre was released Friday, at a cost of $575,000. Following the narrative of ads by other groups supporting Republican challenger David Rouzer, this one tries to tie McIntyre to liberals in Washington, faults him for voting for the stimulus bill and for what it says is his failure to pass any of his own bills into law.
The Congressional Leadership Fund is chaired by former Sen. Norm Coleman and Fred Malek. Politico recently reported that organization and its related nonprofit, American Action Network, would be spending close to $13.5 million in House races across the country.
The North Carolina ad buy follows a spot that began running Thursday, paid for by the nonprofit Young Guns Network, which, along with its sister organization Young Guns Action, is putting $1.5 million into the race. More than $5 million in outside money has rolled into both campaigns, although most of it conservative funding for ads benefitting Rouzer.
Barringer sworn in
Tamara Barringer was sworn in last week as the newest member of the state Senate, replacing Sen. Richard Stevens, a Republican from Cary, who retired from District 17. Barringer, who is a lawyer and lives in Cary, is running as the Republican candidate for the seat in the November election. She faces Democrat Erv Portman.
The governor is required to fill vacant seats in the General Assembly with appointments recommended by local party officials. Barringer won the Republican nomination prior to her appointment. She will serve out the rest of the term, which ends this year.
Barringer was a tax and estate planning attorney for more than 20 years, and is now an adjunct professor of business law and ethics at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill. She was raised near her family’s farm in Cleveland County. Her husband, Brent, is a small-business attorney in Cary and a former member of the UNC Board of Governors. They have three children.
“Tamara Barringer’s experience as a small business person and educator will be invaluable in the Senate’s continuous effort to make North Carolina the best place to invest, do business and raise a family,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger of Rockingham in a statement. “I look forward to working with her.”
McCrory positively attacks
Although Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory said he would run only positive ads, his campaign last week sent out a mailer that attacks his Democratic opponent.
During the televised debate last week, McCrory said “every one of my ads are positive and talk about what I want to do for North Carolina.” But on Friday, Dalton’s campaign provided a mailer that attacks Dalton that was paid for by the N.C. Republican Party and is “authorized by the Pat McCrory Committee.”
“Walter Dalton’s sales tax increase would kill more North Carolina jobs,” the mailer says. “North Carolina can’t afford to lose one more job.” The mailer features a photo of a distressed man with his hands on his forehead.
Dalton supported re-imposing a partial penny sales tax during the last budget to avoid education cuts, but said he would not support a sales tax if he were to be elected governor. Ricky Diaz, a spokesman for the McCrory campaign, said a mailer is not the same thing as an ad and described the Dalton campaign as “flailing.”
Staff writers Craig Jarvisand Rob Christensen
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