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Chris Christie says McCrory win is a silver lining to election

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie described Pat McCrory's victory as a silver lining to last week's election.

From The Record: “The only bit of good news for the Republican Party on Tuesday night was provided by the governors,” Christie told the newspaper Monday. “We didn’t lose any incumbents, any incumbent governors and we added Pat McCrory in North Carolina – first time in 24 years North Carolina has had a Republican governor. So we’re not at 30 out of 50, that’s the highest for either party in a very long time. So I’m really pleased that Pat won.”

Someone buy Gov. Chris Christie a house in North Carolina already

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is returning to the North Carolina campaign trail -- again -- this month on behalf of Pat McCrory.

Christie's visit is at least his third -- we've lost count, actually -- to the state to promote McCrory and Mitt Romney. He will appear at a Johnston County Republican Party barbecue Oct. 26 in Smithfield -- dubbed by organizers as the largest political rally in North Carolina.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and a host of other GOP candidates are expected to attend the dinner. The event is free but donations are accepted.

Senator Who?

North Carolina voters apparently would have difficulty picking their two senators in Washington out of a line-up.

That's the conclusion of the folks over at Public Policy Polling, who say that their polling in 14 different states indicates that North Carolina voters are less familiar with their senators than voters in other states.

Their basis for that is approval polling they have done of the U.S. senators in 14 states. In North Carolina, an average of 33 percent said they had "no opinion" when asked what they thought of how Sens. Richard Burr, a Winton-Salem Republican, and Kay Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, were doing.

That figure was higher than in any of the other states where PPP has polled. Delaware was a close second, with 29 percent, followed by Colorado at 27 percent and New Jersey at 25 percent.

At the other end of the spectrum were West Virginia, where only 10 percent of voters said they had no opinion on their senators, and Virginia, at 12 percent.

Tom Jensen of PPP speculates that could be due to a number of factors, including that North Carolina doesn't keep its senators around for long and that North Carolina has become such a big state that it's hard for the senators to cover so much ground.

Preschool programs get high marks

North Carolina's pre-K programs got good grades. 

With its More at Four program, it was one of only two states — Alabama was the other — to meet all 10 quality standards for pre-kindergarten programs as set by the National Institute for Early Education Research, Lynn Bonner reports.

The institute, based at Rutgers University in New Jersey, looked at standards for teacher education, student-to-teacher ratios, and class sizes.

The report, which was written before the Senate budget was released Monday, included this observation:

We are concerned that unless funding per child increases in North Carolina, programs will be forced to undercut quality in some other ways (with unreasonably low teacher pay for their qualifications, for example).

The Senate has proposed cutting $40 million from the program and cut the amount it pays per student.

The state began offering More at Four in 2001. The pre-school program is open to children from low-income families or those who have other risk factors, such as educational or developmental delays.

Dole's 2006 stops for NRSC

Sen. Elizabeth Dole visited a number of states in 2006.

As head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee that year, Dole campaigned for Republican Senate candidates in a number of states, according to news reports:

Minnesota: In March, Dole traveled in Minnesota on behalf of Senate candidate Mark Kennedy, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. 

Montana: In April and August, Dole toured Montana with Sen. Conrad Burns, according to the Associated Press.

Washington: On Aug. 25, Dole appeared at a $100-a-plate luncheon with Washington Senate candidate Mike McGavick, according to The Columbian.

Tennessee: On Aug. 28, Dole toured Eastern Tennessee with Senate candidate Bob Corker, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Michigan: On Aug. 29, Dole went on campaign stops with Senate candidate Mike Bouchard, according to the Muskegon Chronicle.

Pennsylvania: On Aug. 31, Dole spoke at a press conference at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Arizona: On Sept. 22, Dole headlined an entourage of female senators at the Arizona Inn in Tuscon, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

New Jersey: On Oct. 11, Dole traveled in New Jersey, according to The Hotline.

Ohio: On Oct. 16, Dole traveled to Ohio, according to the N&O.

Missouri: On Oct. 18, Dole headlined a breakfast for Sen. Jim Talent, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Virginia: On Oct. 31, Dole appeared with Sen. George Allen at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

In addition, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says an official e-mail from Dole shows she traveled to Nebraska in August.

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