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New poll shows McCrory's lead shrinking

Republican Pat McCrory holds a five-point lead over Democrat Walter Dalton, according to a new poll.

McCrory, the former Charlotte mayor, leads Dalton, the lieutenant governor, by a 46-41 percent margin, according to the Rasmussen Reports poll, a Republican-leaning survey.

The last Rasmussen poll, taken June 25th, found McCrory leading Dalton by a 49-35 percent margin.

The poll found that McCrory has the support of 76 percent of Republicans, while Dalton has the backing 72 percent of Democrats. McCrory has a 30-point lead among independents. McCrory has an eight point lead among male voters, but only a three point lead among female voters. McCrory has the support of 58 percent of white voters, but Dalton has the backing of 78 percent of black voters.

The survey of 500 likely North Carolina voters was conducted August 1 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.

Builders, contractors endorse Pat McCrory

Pat McCrory's bid for governor got a stamp of approval from a leading national trade association that represents builders and contractors.

Associated Builders and Contractors threw its support behind the former Charlotte Mayor, saying in a release that his election is "the top priority for the commercial and industrial construction industry and the thousands of Tar Heels it employs."

Dalton: Pledges fewer political cronies and urges McCrory to do likewise

Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton pledged Thursday not to increase political patronage by 150 percent, and urged his Republican opponent, Pat McCrory, to do the same.

Dalton was responding to language tucked into the 2012 budget by the Republican legislature that increases the number of exempt positions from 400 to 1,000. According to Dalton, the legislature put the language in the the budget to help Republicans fill state jobs with political operatives, campaign supporters and donors if McCrory wins the election.

“I've always believed in hiring the best person for the job and keeping people on the job based on merit,” Dalton said in a statement. “The last thing we need to do is fire 600 hardworking state employees and replace them with political cronies.''

McCrory stands by no-tax pledge from 2008 campaign

Pat McCrory stirred a bit of campaign dust earlier this week by apparently refusing to make a pledge against raising taxes if elected governor.

But to Patrick Gleason, the state director for Americans for Tax Reform, the answer to the question is clear. Gleason said Thursday that McCrory signed ATR's no-tax pledge in his 2008 gubernatorial bid and the campaign told him that McCrory "stands by that pledge."

The ATR pledge for gubernatorial candidates reads like this: "I (candidate) pledge to the taxpayers of the State of (North Carolina), that I will oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes."

Why won't Pat McCrory pledge not to raise taxes?

Will Republican Pat McCrory pledge not to raise taxes if he's elected governor? You would think it's a political no-brainer, but maybe not.

Last week, national Republicans and the McCrory campaign jumped on their opponent, Democrat Walter Dalton, for declining to pledge not to raise any taxes under any circumstances, writes Charlotte Observer editorial editor Taylor Batten.

But when asked whether they would make that pledge, the McCrory campaign wouldn't be pinned down. Read Batten's full post here.

McCrory to Dalton: No higher food taxes

Walter Dalton sent a mailer this week attacking Republican rival Pat McCrory says he "could" raise taxes on food if he follows his model state's path.

But McCrory put that to rest with one word: No. McCrory's campaign said he opposes higher food taxes.

"When Walter Dalton was the chairman of the budget committee he raised taxes every year, and spending increased over $3 billion in just four years while his last budget created a $4 billion deficit," campaign spokesman Brian Nick said. "With a record like that, it's no wonder that Dalton would attempt this desperate and absurd attack."

Dalton tries guilt-by-association to smear McCrory on food taxes

Facing fire for his stance on taxes, Democrat Walter Dalton is try to smear rival Pat McCrory through guilt by association.

Dalton's campaign said it sent a negative mailer to select voters across the state labeling the Republican as "Food Tax Pat." His reasoning works like this: McCrory suggests reforming North Carolina's tax system, using Florida or Tennessee as a model. Tennessee has one of the highest food taxes in the country. So McCrory "could" want a higher food tax. 

The Socratic logic is a huge leap. McCrory has not made any remarks saying he supports a higher food tax. (Read update here.) 

The Fix: It's still McCrory's race to lose

North Carolina still has the top governor's race in the country, according to the Washington Post's political blog, The Fix, which declared the race "the GOP’s race to lose.''

"(Pat) McCrory has a big cash advantage after a contested Democratic primary, $4.4 million to $700,000. He’s also leading in all recent polls of the race -- mostly by a significant amount, thorugh an NBC/Marist College poll in late June showed him up by just two points. and on top of of it all, the GOP now ha video of Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton(d) declining to rule out a tax increase. Expect to see it in an ad this fall.''

Democratic poll shows McCrory lead, but pollster says race winnable for Dalton

A new poll released by N.C. Citizens for Progress, a Democratic group, shows Republican Pat McCrory leading Democrat Walter Dalton by a 45-39 percent margin.

The same pollster, GarenHartYang Research Group, found McCrory up by 12 points in April. The group said the poll showed McCrory and Dalton tied in the three TV markets where the Democrats have run ad tying him to special interest groups or criticizing him for not releasing tax returns.

"In short, the election for North Carolina governor is extremely competitive, with Walter Dalton now in position to overtake Pat McCrory, provided he has the resources to wage a strong fall campaign," said a memo prepared by pollster Fred Yang.

The poll was conducted between July 10-13 among 812 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent.

A survey conduced for The Civitas Institute found McCrory with a 10 point lead, 47-37, taken July 16-18. A Public Policy Poll taken July 5-8 found McCrory leading by a 47-40 percent margin.

McCrory has large lead in new poll

Republican Pat McCrory has a 10-point lead over Democrat Walter Dalton in the governor's race, according to a new poll.

McCrory, the former Charlotte mayor lead Dalton, the lieutenant governor, by a 47-37 percent margin, according to a poll conducted for The Civitas Institute, a conservative advocacy group based in Raleigh. Barbara Howe, the Libertarian candidate had 7 percent.

That is a widening of the race since the last Civitas Poll taken nearly a month ago, which had McCrory leading Dalton by a 46-44 percent margin with Howe at 7 percent.

The spin: “Any one poll is a snapshot of voter sentiment,” said Francis De Luca, Civitas president. “More important are the trends over time, and those trends show McCrory maintaining a significant lead.''

The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted July 16-18 by National Research Inc. and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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