Under the Dome

Monthly fundraising goals propel Cooper, McCrory campaigns

The campaigns of Gov. Pat McCrory and challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper ramped up their fundraising pleas to reach their August targets over the weekend, keeping a watchful eye on raising enough money over the next 15 months for what will be an expensive battle for governor.

“If we don't hit our August fundraising goal — and the out-of-state billionaires and super PACs funding Gov. McCrory's campaign see an opening to put him back on top — it'll be that much harder to catch up next month,” rang the emailed alarm bell from Team Cooper.

“The other side has deep-pocketed allies in Washington, D.C. and across the country, and Governor McCrory is their #1 target in 2016,” according to an email from Team McCrory that said the campaign was $5,000 short of its goal for the month. “We can't do this without you.”

State campaign finance reports filed in July showed Cooper raised $2.2 million through the first half of the year, while McCrory raised $1.3 million.

“It's hard to believe that the status quo crowd wants to return to the disastrous policies of the past,” said an email from Team McCrory. “But they're drooling at the chance to defeat me and go back to the old way of doing things. To make a long story short, I need you.”

“This governor and his friends in the legislature have spent the last few years systematically dismantling our great public schools, restricting the rights of women, and denying thousands of North Carolina families’ access to affordable health care,” Team Cooper reports. “It's no wonder people like you are fighting back and now it's time to show where you stand.”

Cooper’s team touted polling results: “The pundits might not have guessed it – but it’s pretty clear why Roy’s been leading Governor McCrory in the polls for three straight months.”

That would be according to the liberal Public Policy Polling, which last month reported finding Cooper slightly ahead of McCrory for the third month in a row. The conservative Civitas Institute recently found unaffiliated voters shifting to Cooper by 34-32 percentage points. According to Real Clear Politics, an average of polls conducted this year show Cooper and McCrory tied.

“We’re even beating Texas!” proclaimed another pitch from McCrory, saying exports and manufacturing were robust, unemployment was down in all 100 counties and North Carolina had added jobs faster than the national average.

The state’s unemployment rate was up slightly in July to 5.9 percent, even as 20,600 jobs were added during the month. Economists say a growing economy is creating jobs and drawing more workers back into the hunt for jobs.