Under the Dome

Analyst: Brace for super spending in NC next year

Longtime North Carolina independent political analyst John Davis says in his latest weekly Political Report it’s inevitable that the eight statewide races in North Carolina next year will be influenced by big outside money.

“That’s what we can expect in North Carolina in 2014: Super PAC attacks, where one check from an out-of-state wealthy donor can marginalize the total given by all traditional campaign funding sources.”

Davis refers to the latest tally by the N.C. Free Enterprise Foundation’s highly useful online campaign tracker – www.slideshare.net/NCFEF2013/2014-ncfef-candidate-tracker – which counts more than $4 million in independent expenditures to date in the battle for and against U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.

Davis says most independent expenditure groups spend their money on negative ads. A California billionaire spent $8 million on attack ads against Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who lost the Virginia governor’s race last month. Nationally, Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS spent $188.9 million in 2012, Davis says.

Expect to see outside money spent in the races for four of the seven state Supreme Court seats, three of the 15 Court of Appeals seats, and Hagan’s seat, Davis says.

Whether all that money makes for an informed electorate or just the opposite depends remains to be seen.