North Carolina

Lawson/Price Debate Fact Check


Last night at UNC, Chapel Hill Rep. David Price and Dr. Lawson squared off in a debate, drawing a sharp contrast in their approach for the direction of our country. Dr. Lawson presented a clear and concise message to the students — restore common sense.


A video will be made available in the next day or so of the full debate, and I am confident you all will be as excited as we were last night.


Vulnerable Senate Democrat who once complained about Washington’s addiction to spending has failed to live up to her rhetoric

Kay Hagan made out of control federal spending and the surge in the national debt an issue during her successful 2008 campaign for U.S. Senate against then-Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC).

“You only need to look at what kind of state senator I’ve been for the last ten years to see what kind of U.S. senator I’ll be,” said Hagan in a 2008 campaign speech, a clip of which was made available on the NRSC Rapid Response YouTube channel. “While Washington spends itself into a hole and mortgages the future for our children and our grandchildren, I’ve produced five balanced budgets,” she adds before the clip cuts away.

The criticism was valid. Dole had largely toed the party line on spending, approving much of then-President George W. Bush’s domestic and foreign policy agenda in her first and only term in the upper chamber.

Fire Harry Reid: New polls show Republicans winning the majority in the Senate

A round of new polling released on Sunday shows that Republican candidates have the edge in enough Senate races to take the majority in the upper chamber in the 2014 mid-term election and then some.

The poll was conducted by YouGov in coordination with CBS News and The New York Times finds that Republicans would win the eight Senate seats, handing them a 53-seat majority. The Upshot notes that, based on the new round of polling, Republicans have a 60 percent chance of taking control of the chamber.

Here’s a look at the most relevant races:

State Democrat


Southern conservatives are embracing liberty, and Republicans must take note

Libertarian Republican Rand Paul

For decades, Republicans have relied heavily on the “Solid South” as a voting bloc for Congressional and Presidential candidates. But a trend among disaffected conservatives may force Southern Republicans to embrace the ideals of liberty… and that’s not a bad thing at all.

While libertarian-leaning Republicans like Senator Rand Paul are making sincere efforts to reach out to new voters in an effort to grow the GOP, it’s important that Republicans don’t write-off their previously reliable conservative allies in Southern states. As it turns out, it seems many of the same issues Senator Paul and other liberty-minded Republicans are talking about might also shore up disaffected conservatives who are looking for electoral alternatives.

Writing at The Daily Beast, Patricia Murphy notes the rise in Libertarian Party candidates in Southern states like Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. From the piece:

None of the three Libertarians is favored to win his races, but with significant shifts afoot on opposition to federal spending, NSA spying, and restrictions on medical marijuana, and a growing acceptance of gay marriage, the Libertarians are increasingly likely to affect the outcome of their races…

[One previous LP candidate] said the issues people are gravitating toward [a current LP candidate] on, in addition to medical marijuana, are the economy, unemployment, and civil liberties. “They’re all huge issues that have wide appeal and even more so than they have had in the past.”

Today in Liberty: Rand Paul calls for unity, Harry Reid wants to bring back earmarks

“We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” — Hillary Clinton

— Tillis tops Brannon, grassroots in #NCSen Republican primary: North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis crossed the 40 percent threshold to avoid a July 15 runoff against Raleigh OB/GYN Greg Brannon tonight. With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tillis garnered 45.7 percent to Brannon’s 27.1 percent. Tillis was backed heavily by establishment elements like Republican strategist Karl Rove and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Brannon rallied support from Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee as well as FreedomWorks and talk radio show host Mark Levin. Tillis’ outright victory is a setback for the “wacko bird” caucus in Washington, which has sought to thwart big-spending, compromise-at-all-cost Republicans. The Republican nominee will face-off against embattled incumbent Kay Hagan in the November election. The Real Clear Politics average gives Hagan only a slight lead over Tillis.

Today in Liberty: Americans reject Obama’s “change,” Supreme Court passes on gun rights case

“The phone records of innocent Americans do not relate to terrorism, whatsoever; and they are not reasonably likely to lead to information that relates to terrorism. Put simply, the phone calls we make to our friends, our families, and business associates are private and have nothing to do with terrorism or the government’s efforts to stop it.” — Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)

— Primary day in North Carolina: Voters in the Tar Heel State will head to the polls today to cast their votes in their respective party primaries. Among the most watched races is the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, where Greg Brannon is hoping to pull state House Speaker Thom Tillis into a runoff. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) visited the state yesterday to stump for Brannon. “As we stand here, the debt clock is spiraling out of control,” Paul told a crowd gathered in Charlotte. “Send us a champion. Send us a hero. Send us a dragon slayer,” he added, referring to Brannon. Public Policy Polling’s final survey, released yesterday, shows that Brannon has picked up steam, but Tillis is hovering at the 40 percent mark needed to avoid the runoff.

NC Senate: Rand Paul, Mark Levin make final push for Greg Brannon

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced today that he’ll head to the Tar Heel State on Monday to stump for Greg Brannon, a conservative running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

“I have decided today I’m going Monday to campaign for Greg Brannon in North Carolina,” said Paul, who endorsed Brannon in the October. “I think it’s pretty close there actually, and there’s a chance we can help him enough to push him over the top.”

Hours after Paul’s announcement, conservative talk radio show host Mark Levin endorsed Brannon, telling his nearly 764,000 Facebook followers “[h]e is unquestionably the conservative in the race.”

FreedomWorks for America announced on Tuesday that it is planning a 72-hour, grassroots “Get Out the Vote” this weekend. The organization plans to canvass neighborhoods and make calls for Brannon.

If no candidate takes 40 percent of the vote in next Tuesday’s primary, the top two finishers will advance to a July 15 runoff election.

Recent polls suggest that state House Speaker Thom Tillis, the establishment favorite in the Republican primary, is likely to take the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff. That makes Paul’s visit a potentially risky one for Republicans who worry that a runoff could weaken the party’s nominee as they go on to face Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) this fall.

NC Senate: Karl Rove’s preferred candidate trails Kay Hagan

Thom Tillis

State House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenberg) may hold a slim lead over Republicans vying for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination, but he’s the only potential challenger who trails Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) in a head-to-head matchup.

The latest Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey out of North Carolina found that Hagan trails most of the Republican field. Mark Harris (44/40) and Heather Grant (43/39) both hold a 4-point lead over Hagan. Greg Brannon, who has received a lot of grassroots support, holds a 2-point edge, at 42/40.

But Hagan leads Tillis, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, by a 2-point margin, at 43/41. Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, attributes this his being more well known than the other Republicans in the race.

“In Tillis’ case being well known is not necessarily a positive thing,” wrote Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, “his time at the helm of an unpopular legislature has left him with a 20/39 favorability rating.”

Here’s the thing, though. Tillis is the Republican establishment’s pick in this race. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads dropped $1.1 million to promote Tillis ahead of the May 6 primary, hoping that it would help his preferred candidate grab the 40% he needs to avoid a runoff.

Vulnerable Senate Democrats pledge to allegiance to Harry Reid

With control of the Senate hanging in the balance, some have wondered if that could bring to an end Harry Reid’s (D-NV) leadership of the Democratic conference. Many of his colleagues are already expressing support, according to Politico, regardless of the outcome of the 2014 election.

Among  those openly backing Reid to serve again as the party’s leader are Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Pryor — three of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection this year:

“Absolutely,” Sen. Mary Landrieu, a vulnerable Louisiana Democrat facing voters this fall, said when asked if she would back Reid as leader no matter the outcome of the November elections. “We all share in success, we all share in the failures; we’re a team. But Harry Reid has tremendous respect of members of our caucus. … I don’t believe that he would be challenged in our party for leadership until he’s ready to step aside.”
“Yeah,” Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, another Democrat facing a tough race, said when asked if he’d back Reid again. “It’s up to him on whether he wants to do it.”

“Harry Reid is our leader, and I certainly do support Harry,” said Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). “And I have a huge race going on right now, and I will be victorious. And I will be back next year. And we can talk all about that then.”

Other potentially vulnerable Senate Democrats weren’t so willing to express support for Reid. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) hedged on the question, telling Politico he’s worried about their own political survival, while Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) wouldn’t comment.

Crosscheck finds 35,570 instances of alleged double-voting in North Carolina

North Carolina election officials are looking into voter fraud after a crosscheck of registration databases found that 35,570 voters who cast ballots in 2012 may have also voted in other states in the same election year:

State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Westbrook Strach said North Carolina’s check found 765 registered North Carolina voters who appear to match registered voters in other states on their first names, last names, dates of birth and the final four digits of their Social Security numbers. Those voters appear to have voted in North Carolina in 2012 and also voted in another state in 2012.
The crosscheck also found 35,570 voters in North Carolina who voted in 2012 whose first names, last names and dates of birth match those of voters who voted in other states in 2012, but whose Social Security numbers were not matched.

“A lot of states don’t provide last four SSN, or they don’t have that information,” Strach explained.

Additionally, the analysis found 155,692 registered North Carolina voters whose first and last names, dates of birth and final four Social Security number digits match voters registered in other states but who most recently registered or voted elsewhere.

The crosscheck is limited to the 28 states that participated in the Interstate Crosscheck program, so it’s quite possible that there more instances of double-voting in North Carolina that are going unnoticed.

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