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Dalton's new website attacks McCrory as it defines governor's race

Walter Dalton is trying to make the choice for governor crystal clear for voters, debuting a new website Thursday that stacks his ideas against Republican Pat McCrory.

The website is expectedly one-sided and at times outright wrong, lacking the space and the depth to truly reflect the candidates' positions. One example of the bold accusations: "Pat McCrory looks down on rural areas," reads one point. "Pat McCrory wants some children left behind," says another.

With a $3.1 million 3rd quarter haul, Pat McCrory is the $10 million candidate

UPDATED: Pat McCrory's campaign war chest is stacked $2.3 million deep with a month to go in the governor's race, thanks to a $3.1 million haul in the third quarter this year.

McCrory's campaign released the third quarter fundraising numbers Tuesday, trumpeting last week's $1 million in donations as its most successful week ever. 

The cash infusion puts McCrory's grand total this election cycle close to $10 million, far more than his Democratic rival Walter Dalton, and puts him in the driver's seat going into the Nov. 6 election.

Dalton's campaign said it would not release preliminary fundraising numbers for the third quarter. Neither campaign will submit formal campaign finance reports until Oct. 29 because the reporting period does not end until Oct. 20. But both camps put increased pressure on donors to contribute by Friday, the last day of the fiscal quarter.

Walter Dalton to get speaking slot at Vice President Biden's rally

Walter Dalton, the still largely unknown Democratic candidate for governor, will get a shot of high-profile exposure Tuesday.

Dalton is scheduled to speak at Vice President Joe Biden's rally at UNC-Asheville about 3 p.m., his campaign announced. The current lieutenant governor also spoke at the Democratic convention but it lasted just a minute and not in prime time.

The gubernatorial candidate is still trying to convince about one in five Democrats to support him and not Republican Pat McCrory.

Morning Roundup: McCrory-Dalton debate likely to get overshadowed

North Carolina’s major candidates for governor will hold the first of three statewide televised debates Wednesday, in a match-up that could be overshadowed – like much of their campaign – by the presidential contest.

The debate, sponsored by the N.C. Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation, was designed to piggyback on interest in the presidential debate. But not everyone is convinced that the governor’s debate will benefit from the pairing. Read more here.

More political headlines:

--Five weeks before Election Day, about 14,000 North Carolina voters already have cast absentee ballots – a total equal to President Barack Obama’s margin of victory in 2008. The number is etched into the minds of conservatives who are placing a greater emphasis than ever this year on absentee voting by mail, suggesting it could make the difference in another tight election contest.

Morning Roundup: Walter Dalton as Soul Brother No. 1

Who died and made Walter Dalton Soul Brother No. 1? Somebody must have, based on the reason some of his supporters in the N.C. Governor’s race are attacking his opponent Pat McCrory. The former Charlotte mayor, some black Dalton suppporters claim in an online ad, “just doesn’t understand the black experience in North Carolina.” 

And Lt. Gov. Walter “Get Down” Dalton does? Rat on. Read Barry Saunders full column here.

More political headlines: 

--A company hired by the North Carolina GOP to register voters is under review by state election officials after the firm was accused of submitting questionable registration forms in Florida. The state GOP has fired the firm and the state may decide this week whether to launch a full investigation.

Weekend Roundup: Questions to debate in the governor's race

On Wednesday, the first of three televised gubernatorial debates will be held between Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory. This is a key moment in particular for Dalton, the lieutenant governor, who trails the former Charlotte mayor in all the polls. The one-hour debate will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast across the state. Rob Christensen gives his 10 questions for the candidates.

More political headlines:

--North Carolina’s next governor could determine whether the broad changes that are remaking the state’s environmental landscape – both political and natural – continue or are reined in. But both candidates are mostly silent on the issue.

--Five weeks before Election Day, the best place to get a snapshot of the presidential race in North Carolina might well be up here in the mountain towns of Watauga County. Unlike the Republican-red counties surrounding it, Watauga has turned purple in its politics – just like North Carolina, still one of nine battleground states in the 2012 contest between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Democratic ad tries to link McCrory to GOP legislature's questionable tax break

UPDATED: A new attack ad stretches to link Republican Pat McCrory to the GOP legislature's $336 million tax cut for some businesses, a loophole added at the last minute in the 2011 budget.

The N.C. Citizens for Progress TV commercial starts Friday, funded by the Democratic Governors Association. It details a tax cut GOP lawmakers described as a small business tax cut that actually will give a roughly $3,500 break to equity partners in even the wealthiest practices, such as lawyers, doctors and lobbyists, despite a budget that included education cuts and led to teacher layoffs.

Pat McCrory holds double-digit lead in new governor's race Civitas poll

As the candidates prepare for next week's debate, Republican Pat McCrory leads Democratic rival Walter Dalton by a double-digit margin, according to a poll released Friday.

The National Research Inc. poll, commissioned by the conservative Civitas Institute, showed McCrory at 49 percent and Dalton at 38 percent. It is consistent with the group's two earlier polls from May and July, showing roughly equal support for the two candidates.

Morning Roundup: Dalton tries to stir his African-American base

Democrat Walter Dalton's effort to make race an issue in the governor's campaign reflects the lingering potency of what has historically been a hair-trigger issue in North Carolina. According to some, it also represents the continued use of race as a political tool.

“It’s firing up the base, that’s all (Dalton’s) trying to do,” said Gary Pearce, a Democratic strategist from Raleigh. “Dalton’s in a position where one of the big things he needs to do is get the base fired up, and he thinks he found a way to do it.” Read more here.

More political headlines:

--Acknowledging that Republicans have work to do to sway women voters, a group of “Women for Mitt” led by former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina talked about the presidential challenger Thursday.

The N.C. governor's race in one chart: ad spending to date

UPDATED: If one chart speaks volumes about the North Carolina governor's race, it's the one above detailing TV ad spending.

The data from media buyers shows Republicans have spent or reserved $12 million in TV time for commercials to boost Pat McCrory and take down Democrat Walter Dalton. By comparison, Democrats have spent and reserved $5.2 million in commercial time.

Democrats are vowing to buy more TV time, and Republicans could do the same, but the gap at this point in the campaign is telling.

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