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Breaking down the gains Republicans made on Election Day

Looking back at voter turnout this November, Republicans gained ground in North Carolina for a somewhat obvious reason: registered members of the GOP showed up in droves while Democratic support waned.

In a new analysis, Democracy North Carolina points out that Democrats had 53,000 fewer voters than in 2008 while the overall turnout was up by nearly 200,000.  

Said Bob Hall, the group's president: “North Carolina has a history of low voter participation that goes back to the Jim Crow era, when the poll tax, literacy test and other tactics told people that politics is for the privileged, the boss man, not for you. 

“We’ve made considerable progress and are finally climbing out of the bottom tier of states, but we still have a long way to go to reach the participation levels of many northern states.”

Does Tagg Romney want to be president 'when he grows up?'

Tagg Romney's campaign swing through North Carolina will probably be best remembered for a line he uttered during a radio interview – he said he wanted to "rush down the debate stage and take a swing" at Obama – but another moment escaped mostly unnoticed.

Tagg, the oldest of Mitt Romney's five sons, was hit with a memorable question while in a North Raleigh neighborhood getting ready to kick off door-knocking efforts for a couple dozen campaign volunteers.

One of the volunteers was 8-year-old, Amelia Cutlip, who wore a bright pink Romney-Ryan shirt and had spent the day handing out campaign stickers at the N.C. State Fair.

Amelia was unsure of who exactly Tagg was and why he was in the neighborhood. She had an idea, but she needed to double-check, so she hit the 42-year-old with a question he hasn't gotten in a while: "Do you want to be president when you grow up?" she said.

NC hit with mailer that's part of $2 million Americans for Prosperity effort

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group, is hitting North Carolina and nine other swing states with a $2 million direct mail effort.

The group is calling the mail piece "Family Budget," which highlights "the reality that  American families are tightening their belts while criticizing the 'four-year spending spree' of the Obama administration," according to a release.

Group tracks campaign ad buys in North Carolina, swing states

A group following campaign spending has logged more than $2.47 million worth of ad buys in Charlotte, the eighth most of any tracked this election cycle. Nearly $500,000 of ad buys in Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville have also been tracked.

ProPublica has tracked the influence of outside groups spending money to influence the presidential and congressional campaigns, and a report shows exactly how money has poured into Charlotte over the course of the campaign.

Wilkins seizes on stalling Farm Bill to swipe at Ellmers

Stalled in Congress is a complex piece of legislation often called by the simple, somewhat-misleading name the "Farm Bill," which in fact deals with food stamps, crop insurance, conservation, commodity programs and an array of other topics.

Among the Democratic candidates seizing the moment is Steve Wilkins, running for U.S. House from North Carolina's 2nd District, which runs through Raleigh and stretches around the Triangle.

The seat is currently occupied by Rep. Renee Ellmers, a Republican who narrowly won in 2010 and is seeking re-election.

Wilkins said on Twitter that Ellmers "let GOP leadership pressure her out of acting to pass" the bill. He expanded on the comment in an interview and pointed to the withdrawal of her support for a procedure that may have allowed a House vote. Ellmers insists that's not the case.

GOP ad ties McIntyre to Obama, stimulus

The GOP wants North Carolina voters to think of the state's struggling economy and President Barack Obama's economic policies when they hear Rep. Mike McIntyre's name.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has released a new TV ad slamming McIntyre, the Democrat seeking reelection to Congress from North Carolina's 7th District, for working to pass a stimulus plan supported by Obama that "created jobs in China" and "provided billions in bonuses for Wall Street executives.

Herman Cain's "Truth Tour" swings through Raleigh

Herman Cain no longer has his sights on the White House, but the one-time Republican presidential frontrunner swung through Raleigh on Wednesday with a new campaign that preaches to the conservative choir and targets familiar foes.

Cain is on a "Truth Tour" that is reminiscent, at least in its promotion and message, of the 9-9-9 tax plan that briefly propelled Cain to the top of polls last year.

NRCC accuses McIntyre of outsourcing jobs to China in new TV ad

The National Republican Congressional Committee is airing a new TV ad against Rep. Mike McIntyre, who is running for reelection in North Carolina's Seventh District.

The ad accuses McIntyre, who opposes Republican David Rouzer, of "spending billions of taxpayer dollars to create jobs in foreign countries like China."

NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek in a release tried to tie McIntyre to President Barack Obama by pointing to his voting record.

Lee County Dems call on local GOP leader to resign

Democrats in Lee County are making hay of comments a local Republican leader made to a Los Angeles Times reporter.

Charles Staley, chairman of the county GOP, said during a recent interview with Hector Becerra that Republicans are wrongly cast as anti-Latino, anti-Black and for “the rich white man, and not there for the poor people who don’t have a job.”

Staley argued that nothing could be further from the truth, but his reasoning upset county Democratic chairwoman Ann McCracken. 

Romney TV ad in N.C. tries to rally support of defense industry

Among the 15 new TV ads released by Mitt Romney's campaign hours after the Democratic National Convention ended in Charlotte tries to win the support of defense industry in North Carolina.

The ad claims the president's defense cuts "threaten thousands of jobs" and says that Romney "will reverse President Obama's defense cuts and create over 350,000 jobs for North Carolina.

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