Dome: Civitas poll shows tightening Supreme Court race

FROM STAFF REPORTSNovember 1, 2012 

The closely watched and highly funded race for the N.C. Supreme Court has tightened, according to a new poll.

Sam Ervin IV, a judge on the N.C. Court of Appeals, leads N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby by a 38-32 percent margin, according to a poll commissioned the Civitas Institute, a Raleigh-based conservative advocacy group.

Although officially nonpartisan, Republicans have rallied to Newby to make sure the court stays in Republican hands – an issue that has implications for redistricting challenges and other issues.

The poll also found that Debra Goldman, a member of the Wake County board of Education, has been picking up support. She leads Democratic incumbent Beth Wood by a 40 percent to 38 percent margin.

Goldman has received considerable publicity in recent weeks, following disclosures that grew out of a burglary report she made concerning her Cary house, her suspicions about a fellow school board member, and allegations of a romantic affair.

The poll of 600 registered voters was conducted Oct. 20-21 by National Research Inc. and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Group’s Newby aid hits $1.1M

Speaking of the Supreme Court, the Washington, D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee has chipped in another $275,000 to help re-elect Newby, bringing that group’s contribution to the cause to $1.1 million. The RSLC has an interest in retaining North Carolina’s newly redrawn legislative and congressional districts, which will help keep Republicans in office in this state and in Congress.

Dome’s running count on campaign money in the Newby-Ervin race is now at $3.1 million – about $2.5 million of which is outside money benefitting Newby.

Where does the Republican State Leadership Committee get its money? Here are a few interesting North Carolina sources: Variety Stores (owned by conservative financier Art Pope), $150,000 contributed this year; Bob Luddy (businessman and school-choice advocate, who is also paying into a pro-Newby super PAC), $50,000; Reynolds American, $300,000; Time Warner Cable, $29,000; and Prudential Financial, $25,000.

State employees slam Forest

The State Employees Association of N.C. on Thursday rolled out a new Web and radio ad blitz promoting Linda Coleman, running against Republican nominee for lieutenant governor Dan Forest.

The radio ad is playing in the Triangle, the Triad and Charlotte area, while the video is linked from several newspaper websites and posted on YouTube. The newspaper website banner ads also link to – no further explanation necessary about what’s on that site.

The State Employees Association of N.C. has endorsed Coleman, a Democrat.

Huntsman to talk Nov. 12 at Chapel Hill

Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman will give a free talk Nov. 12 at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Huntsman, the former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China, will deliver the Weil Lecture on American Citizenship. The talk is at 7:30 p.m. at Hill Hall Auditorium.

Expect some post-election analysis. The lecture’s topic is “America 2012 and Beyond: Challenges and Opportunities” and will include discussion with Hodding Carter, UNC professor of leadership and public policy and former State Department spokesman for President Jimmy Carter.

Huntsman also will participate in a question-and-answer session open to the public from 4 to 5:15 p.m. in the University Room of Hyde Hall.

He was supposed to speak at Duke University this week, but the event was canceled due to travel disruption from Hurricane Sandy.

Staff writers Rob Christensen, Craig Jarvis and Jane Stancill

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