The Democratic Governors Association appears to be conceding the North Carolina governor’s race to Republicans.
A DGA-funded liberal group supporting Democratic candidate Walter Dalton is not running TV ads this week – as hundreds of thousands of voters go to the polls – and no commercials are scheduled to appear in the final week before the election.
A spokesman for N.C. Citizens for Progress, the group helping Dalton, said national Democrats have not abandoned the race entirely, but he acknowledged it is dark this week with no concrete plans to make future TV ad purchases. The group “is currently assessing the political landscape to determine its actions for the last two weeks of the campaign,” said Michael Weisel, a Raleigh attorney with the Citizens group.
A DGA official also cautioned that its money spigot is not disconnected for good. But the fact the group is no longer airing its attack ads against Republican Pat McCrory, who holds a double-digit lead in the polls, suggests the group is not as committed to the race as it once pledged. To re-engage, political observers suggest, a significant development would need to alter the race.
Earlier this year, the DGA floated the idea it would spend about $5 million in the race. And DGA Chairman Martin O’Malley, the governor of Maryland, assured North Carolina Democrats that his group would help elect Dalton. Gov. Bev Perdue is the vice chairwoman.
But so far the DGA has spent just $2.6 million. At the same time, the Republican Governors Association has spent about $4.7 million through different avenues. The RGA recently cut its nearly all its spending for the final two weeks, confident in McCrory’s lead.
House back to immigration
House Republicans shelved immigration legislation earlier this year, cognizant of the pending Supreme Court ruling and election year politics.
But if they retain control, the GOP would clearly return the issue to the forefront. A House committee looking at controversial immigration legislation approved in Arizona and Alabama announced Wednesday that it will meet Nov. 13 – exactly one week after the election.
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane endorsed President Barack Obama on Tuesday, looking over the site where Raleigh’s new transit hub will be built. The hub will receive $21 million in federal grants. … Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge campaign in Raleigh, Wilson and Wilmington on Wednesday for Obama’s re-election. … The Rev. Jesse Jackson will be at a “get out the vote” rally at 11 a.m. Friday at N.C. Central University. He then heads to Chapel Hill to talk to students at 2 p.m. … Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear headlines a fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Walter Dalton Tuesday in Charlotte. The guest list includes Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Crandall and Erskine Bowles, and Duke Energy’s Jim Rogers among others.
Staff writers John Frank, Rob Christensen and Austin Baird
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