Under the Dome

Romney pollster says North Carolina race within margin of error

Just blocks from the site of the Democratic convention, Republican national chairman Reince Priebus Sunday geared up for a GOP response effort that he said would “shame what they did to us.”

Republicans plan to open a “rapid response center” Monday at NASCAR Plaza, an operation Priebus said would dwarf the Democratic response effort in Tampa. “We’re going to put them to shame,” he told the Observer Sunday. “Whatever they did to us we’re going to do to them 10 times over.”

Priebus will hold the first of daily GOP news conferences Monday with U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah. Priebus dismissed suggestions that President Obama’s campaign has a more effective “ground game” in North Carolina with 40 field offices. Similar field work, part of an extensive voter-outreach effort, helped Obama carry the state by 14,000 votes in 2008.

“They’ve got to overcome our ground game,” he said. “we will crush them on the ground.”

Also Sunday, Neil Newhouse, national pollster for GOP nominee Mitt Romney, said polls show a close race with his candidate is in good shape. He said poll results nationally and in the top 10 battlegrounds -- including North Carolina -- are all within the margin of error. 

--Jim Morrill, Observer staff writer

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