North Carolina

NAACP Protests Photo ID, but Requires Marchers Have Photo ID

Apparently lacking the gene that lets the brain identify irony and hypocrisy, the NAACP recently led a march in North Carolina to protest voter ID requirements in the state, which they claim improperly disenfranchises some voters, and disproportionately affects minorities and the poor.

The leader of the march, William Barber, II, calls the march the “Moral March” and exhorts followers to engage in a “wave of civil disobedience” against policies and laws passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and a Republican governor. If Barber’s name rings a bell, it’s likely because he was in the news last month for calling Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the first black person to serve as a senator from the South since Reconstruction, a “ventriloquist’s dummy”, a derogatory slur hurled at Scott because of his staunch conservative principles (I guess you aren’t a “real” black person, and therefore deserving of respect, unless you are a liberal Democrat).

The irony and hypocrisy comes in the form of a flyer handed out to all of the march participants, which gave them instructions, a set of “Do’s and Don’ts” to abide by during the march. This included instructions such as reporting members of the public that attempt to join the march, reporting any altercations, and the final instruction, “DO bring photo identification (driver’s license, passport, or other photo id) with you and keep it on your person at all times.”

Got that? The NAACP marchers, out protesting photo ID requirements for voting, require participants to have a photo ID on them at all times during the march.

New polls show red state Senate Democrats in serious trouble

Senate Democrats running in red states are in serious trouble, according to internal polling released by a Republican super PAC, indicating that control of the chamber is very much in play this fall.

Americans Crossroads, a major Republican super PACs, commissioned polls in seven states, five of which are held by incumbent Senate Democrats. In a memo released on Friday, Steven Law, President and CEO of American Crossroads, detailed the results of the polling:

Virtually all Democrat incumbents in red states and purple states are in trouble – either down or tied in head-to-head contests with their likely GOP opponents, or upside down in approval ratings:

Report: Red state Dems not so independent of Obama

Vulnerable Senate Democrats have been working overtime to distance themselves from President Barack Obama by highlighting differences they have with the White House on various issues, even avoiding appearances with him in visits to their home states.

But are these Democrats as independent as they would have voters at home believe? Not really, according to a 2013 vote analysis by Roll Call:

As Sen. Mark Pryor runs for a third term in Arkansas — he’s the only incumbent now rated an underdog by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call — he will surely delight in announcing he voted more often against Obama than any other Senate Democrat last year. That will sound much more like a boast than a confession in a place where the president’s approval last year was 35 percent, according to state-by-state approval numbers released last week by Gallup.

But Republican Rep. Tom Cotton will just as undoubtedly promote his challenge by describing Pryor’s presidential support score in a way that sounds exactly the opposite, but is just as precise: The sitting senator sided with Obama 90 percent of the time.

NC Senate: Brannon gains FreedomWorks’ endorsement

FreedomWorks PAC has endorsed Dr. Greg Brannon in the North Carolina Republican Senate primary, confirming an earlier report of a pending announcement.

In a statement released yesterday, FreedomWorks PAC called Brannon the “clear choice for North Carolinians looking to preserve individual freedom and rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending.” The organization also pointed the candidate’s experience as a physician as evidence that he knows the impact of Obamacare on families and doctors.

“Greg Brannon is a solutions-oriented leader with a stellar understanding of the constitutional role of government,” said Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks PAC, according to the statement. “He knows that North Carolinians - not some faceless bureaucrats in Washington - know what’s best for themselves and their families.”

“Greg Brannon will be a critical part of the Republican Senate takeover in 2014, and a welcome member of the Freedom Caucus within the new majority,” he added.

The endorsement could be key in the race. North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis is thought to be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. The most recent numbers from Public Policy Polling found Brannon trailing Tillis by 8 points among primary voters. Both candidates held small leads over Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), according to the poll.

Brannon called the FreedomWorks’ endorsement “an honor.”

NC Senate: AFP to spend $1.4 million against Kay Hagan

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has upped the ante against Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC). The right-leaning grassroots organization has announced another wave of television ads in North Carolina that encourage the vulnerable Democrat to rethink her support of Obamacare.

AFP has spent heavily in North Carolina in recent months, running ads connecting Hagan to Obamacare and President Obama. In October, for example, the organization ran an ad that blistered Hagan for backing the congressional exemption from Obamacare.

Just last month, after Hagan decided not to appear alongside President Obama at an event in her home state, AFP purchased air-time for an ad that called the two “best friends” and tied her to the “Lie of the Year.”

In its latest media buy — which is worth $1.4 million, according to Politico — AFP is reintroducing an ad it ran in November.

“People don’t like political ads. I don’t like them either, but healthcare isn’t about politics. It’s about people,” says a woman in front of a grayish background. “It’s not about a website that doesn’t work it’s not about poll numbers or approval ratings. It’s about people.”

“Millions of people have lost their health insurance, millions of people can’t see their own doctors and millions are paying more and getting less. Obamacare doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work,” she adds.

NC Senate: Hagan avoids question Obama’s impact on reelection bid

Rather than answer a very direct question in a local news interview this weekend, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) wouldn’t say whether President Barack Obama will help or hurt her quest to convince North Carolina voters that deserves reelection.

“Senator, I’ve got to ask you,” said Bill O’Neil of Greensboro-based WXII, “do you think the President, at the end of this campaign, will he help or hurt your chances of reelection?”

“You know, I think this issue on my race is about who is going to speak for North Carolinians,” replied Hagan, one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection this year. “This seat is not for sale.”

O’Neil noted that Hagan “went on for another 45-seconds, talking about constituent services, job creation, and the need for both parties to work together,” adding that “she never once answered the question, will the president help or hurt her campaign.”

Democratic donors turn eyes to the Senate

Just hours after DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) conceded that Democrats aren’t likely to win control of the House of Representatives this fall, Politico ran a story noting that many high-dollar donors are shifting their focus to the Senate races in which vulnerable Democrats are running:

With Democrats’ grasp on the Senate increasingly tenuous — and the House all but beyond reach — some top party donors and strategists are moving to do something in the midterm election as painful as it is coldblooded: Admit the House can’t be won and go all in to save the Senate.

Their calculation is uncomplicated. With only so much money to go around in an election year that is tilting the GOP’s way, Democrats need to concentrate resources on preserving the chamber they have now. Losing the Senate, they know, could doom whatever hopes Barack Obama has of salvaging the final years of his presidency. 
Some Democratic operatives think a big chunk of that money should be going to Senate contests instead — and they’re beginning to make that case to wealthy contributors. One senior Democratic strategist who is involved in a number of Senate races said conversations with many of the party’s biggest donors about shifting their giving away from the House and toward the Senate had begun and that, “it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing the results.”

“After the health care rollout and with the start of the new year, Democratic donors are starting to focus on a critical choice they have to make: Donate money to pick up a small handful of House races or defend the Senate majority at all costs so that the president can get something — anything — done,” the strategist said.

Harry Reid: Vulnerable Senate Dems will campaign with Obama

Harry Reid

It’s already become apparent that vulnerable Senate Democrats are wary of being seen with President Barack Obama in their home states. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), for example, wouldn’t appear by his side during a visit to New Orleans in November, though she did make the trip with him on Air Force One.

More recently, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) skipped out on President Obama’s visit to her state. He did, however, go out of his way to publicly thank her “for the great work she’s been doing.”

Despite the these examples of politicians nervous about appearing beside an unpopular president, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) insists that vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection this year will campaign with President Barack Obama.

“Anytime the President of the United States appears supporting a candidate, it helps. You know, Ronald Reagan hurt me by coming to [Nevada] all the time,” said Reid during an pre-State of the Union appearance of CNN. “Barack Obama is personally a very popular guy. And people love this man. They love his family.”

“Of course, with what the Republicans have been doing, trying to denigrate him with what’s happened with the rollout of ObamaCare,” he said, “but things, even this week, his numbers are going up again.”

When asked whether he would encourage the most vulnerable Senate Democrats to campaign with President Obama, Reid said, “Yes, and they will.”

NC Senate: Obama thanks Kay Hagan for “great work she’s doing”

When you’re locked in a tight race against all of your Republican challengers, the last thing you want to do is be tied to an unpopular president from your own party. That was something Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) was hoping to avoid by skipping out on President Barack Obama’s visit to North Carolina.

But at the beginning of his speech, President Obama went out of his way to acknowledge the North Carolina Democrat. “Your senator, Kay Hagan, couldn’t be here,” he told the crowd, “but I wanted to thank her – publicly – for the great work she’s been doing.”

Hagan is in trouble with Tar Heel State voters. According to the latest Public Policy Polling survey out of the state, the she trails all of her potential Republican opponents, though within the margin of error, and her ratings are underwater, with just 39% approving of her job performance, while 49% disapprove.

NC Senate: Hagan trails all Republican challengers, approval rating continues to fall

Kay Hagan and Barack Obama

When President Barack Obama visits North Carolina today, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) won’t be by his side. The vulnerable Senate Democrat is trying to keep her distance, and based on the most recent poll out of the Tar Heel State, it’s not difficult to imagine why.

Hagan continues to trail each of her potential Republican opponents, though within the margin of error, according to a poll released yesterday by Public Policy Polling. The race is a must-win for Republicans if they hope to take the majority in the Senate.

The poll found that just 39% of North Carolina voters approve of Hagan’s job performance, down from 43% in December. Forty-nine percent (49%) disapprove, the same as was recorded last month.

Like most other states, Obamacare isn’t popular in North Carolina. Just 38% approve of the law, while 48% disapprove. Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters say that implementation of Obamacare has been unsuccessful, while 32% believe it was successful.

The botched Obamacare rollout and firestorm over health plan cancellations caused by the law are largely why Hagan is facing problems. Some 473,000 North Carolinians saw their policies canceled because of Obamacare regulations.

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