North Carolina political consultant John Davis says he sees a Kay Hagan-Thom Tillis showdown in the U.S. Senate race and expects Tillis to win.
In his recent subscriber-only Political Report, Davis said it’s in the numbers. For starters, he says, the landscape isn’t good for Hagan. No N.C. Democrat has won a second term in the U.S. Senate since 1968, the party is “in shambles,” polls show it tied, midterms aren’t kind to the White House and Hagan told the lie of the year when it came to healthcare.
“So, if it comes down to a race between Sen. Kay Hagan and Speaker Thom Tillis, it is highly likely that the two equally capable and equally funded combatants will be surrounded by equally savvy consultants and have the backing of equally malicious super PACs,” he writes. “Which brings me back to those facts and numbers (above), and why I believe that Thom Tillis is likely to upset Kay Hagan in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race.”
Davis tries to give the race an independent eye but he obviously puts stock in the current GOP power structure. His bold prediction counters many Washington prognosticators. And he sees another dynamic that defies the conventional wisdom: Hagan cannot count on a divided Republican Party.
“Of course, the great hope of Brannon/Harris/Flynn/Grant is to force a primary runoff by ganging up on Tillis with enough outside super PAC attack ads that keep his vote below 40 percent,” he writes. “However, the odds are greater that they will splinter the hard right conservatives and Tillis will parlay a sizable cash and organizational advantage into a primary victory on May 6, 2014.
“Tillis’ legislative accomplishments are such that it will simply be too difficult for any Republican to get very far with an attempt to discredit his commitment to the conservative cause. In other words, even his on primary detractors will not likely stay divided against him for long. They want to defeat Hagan.” (Read his full report here.)
Whether he proves correct on this latter point, is the story to watch in the coming months.
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The State Board of Community Colleges meets at 9 a.m. in Raleigh.
From the Times story: McCrory said the way the federal government handled the problem was not a way of cooperating with the state. But McCrory did not say if the warning from the federal government was warranted.
"Threatening the denial of food stamps for our citizens is unacceptable at a time when the states are actually trying to figure out the federal regulations and the constant changes. For them to send a threatening letter was not a productive or constructive move, especially for those who need the food stamps,” McCrory said.
McCrory said the presidential aide told him the federal government would work with North Carolina. "We plan in the future for good positive cooperation as opposed to threatening letters which would have a severe impact on North Carolinians in need of those stamps,” McCrory said. Read more here.
“I would encourage everyone to include the following measurable goal in your Employee Performance Plan: “Smile, be happy, have fun, and enjoy the process.” If every day can begin with this mind-set we can accomplish anything!”
With Obama set to offer another sober dose of reality in a speech about how the recovery has fallen short, Gov. Pat McCrory has been declaring a "great Carolina comeback" due—naturally—to GOP policies, not anything out of the White House.
And yet, there's still no sign from the administration that the president is prepared to strike a sunnier tone on the economy. Read more here.
Poultry is a $13 billion industry in North Carolina, and Kay Hagan, the state’s Democratic senator, supports the changes and has urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to make them final. The state’s other senator, Republican Richard Burr, has not taken a position.
By law, an inspector must check each poultry carcass for defects and visible contamination. The new plan would replace most federal inspectors on poultry processing lines with company workers who would watch for defects as chicken and turkey carcasses zip through. The move would mean more control over the inspection process for companies, enabling them to increase profits by processing birds faster. Read more here.
The Senate voted 72-26 for the measure, which cleared the House a little more than 24 hours earlier on a similarly lopsided vote. Obama's signature on the bill was expected in time to prevent any interruption in government funding Saturday at midnight. Read more here.
It starts: “In a Capitol filled with bloviating self-promoters, Walter Jones is a soft-spoken Southern gentleman. But even though he has all the quiet charm of a sleepy country town, the ten-term North Carolina Republican is quite capable of righteous indignation.
“Congress will not hold anyone to blame,” Jones, now 70, said of America’s Middle Eastern wars while speaking to Young American for Liberty in Raleigh last February. “Lyndon Johnson’s probably rotting in hell right now because of the Vietnam War, and he probably needs to move over for Dick Cheney.” Read more here.
The "Mike McIntyre for Congress" Committee filed its 2013 year-end finance report with the Federal Elections Commission on Thursday. The report shows McIntyre's committee raised $184,220 in the 4th quarter of 2013, including $167,021 from Political Action Committees. Read more here.
“We wouldn’t be in higher education if we didn’t believe higher education is critically important to the success of the country,” North Carolina State Chancellor Randy Woodson told the gathering. “And we can’t be successful if the only people accessing our education are those with financial means. So we’ve just got to continue to work hard to help young people see their future.” Read more here.
Women are wielding notable influence in Congress. Read more here.
Koch Brothers Are Outspending Everyone for a GOP Senate Takeover. Read more here.
One more interview from CNBC of Pat McCrory’s cable TV rounds this week. See it here.
Esquire: “Pat McCrory, governor of the newly insane state of North Carolina” Read more here.
Workplace deaths decline again in North Carolina. Read more here.