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Democratic convention makes NBC's top political story list

NBC News ranks the Democratic convention in Charlotte at the No. 2 political story in 2012 -- sitting behind only Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remark.

The reason from the story: "This year was another reminder that political conventions do matter in presidential contests. After the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C. -- which featured well-received speeches by First Lady Michelle Obama, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, former President Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama -- the Dem ticket got a noticeable bump in state and national polls. ...

Convention puts Charlotte at the top of the 2012 fundraising city list

If you needed further proof that the Democratic National Convention was a nonstop party, here it is. The 362 political fundraisers held in Charlotte during those four days drove the city to the No. 2 spot on the Sunlight Foundation's annual ranking of political fundraising cities.

The Tuesday and Wednesday of convention week turned out to be the busiest fundraising days of the entire year, according to the foundation, with 249 political parties between them.

Obama won't visit North Carolina before election, as campaign suggested

It's official: President Barack Obama will not return to North Carolina, as his campaign suggested he would do after canceling his stadium speech at the Democratic convention.

NBC News reported the president's final campaign schedule before Tuesday's election Thursday morning. "Thursday: Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado. Friday: Ohio. Saturday: Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia. Sunday: New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Colorado Monday: Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa."

No North Carolina. Obama hasn't visited the state since the Democratic convention, a major sign that the campaign isn't as invested in North Carolina as other states.

Morning Roundup: Congressman Kissell refuses to debate GOP rival Hudson

Citing scheduling conflicts, U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C., has declined to commit to a locally televised debate with Republican challenger Richard Hudson.

Hudson, in a statement released by his campaign, called on the Democratic congressman “to come out of hiding.” Full story here.

More political headlines:

--Get a rundown on the feisty second presidential debate and see a fact check on the candidates' statements. Students at Queens College gave the win to the president.

--Emulating President Barack Obama, Walter Dalton also took an aggressive stance while Pat McCrory bobbed and weaved in the governor's race debate. And see an excerpt from a key exchange.

North Carolina not a swing state in New York Times analysis

The New York Times broke down the swing states in the presidential race -- and one notable absence: North Carolina.

The newspaper's analysis Sunday concluded that North Carolina is "leaning Romney" and not a toss-up. "The state is reliably Republican, even though the demographics are steadily shifting in favor of Democrats," it stated. The nine swing states: Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire.

Take a look at the newspaper's electoral map here -- and check out how North Carolina gets shuffled around in the eight different scenarios.

Morning Roundup: Will North Carolina matter in the GOP primary?

A quick breakdown on the political stories in this morning's paper:

-- With three different candidates winning the first three GOP presidential primary contests, North Carolina's chances of influencing the Republican presidential primary increased slightly over the weekend. "It's pretty remote, but it's a possibility where two weeks ago I would have told you there was no possibility whatsoever," said Jack Hawke, a veteran party strategist and former state GOP chairman. Read more here.

-- WakeMed CEO Bill Atkinson finally found his audience Monday at a legislative committee charged with deciding whether the state should own Rex Hospital, WakeMed's cross-town rival. For more than a year, Atkinson has lodged the same litany of complaints against Rex and its owner, UNC Health Care. Read more from reporter Mandy Locke here.

-- In preparation for the Democratic National Convention, the Charlotte City Council voted Monday night to approve new ordinances that will give police more power to stop and search people during the convention. The vote was met with shouts of "Shame!" from a packed council chamber. The American Civil Liberties Union has said some of the measures go too far, including giving the police power to arrest people carrying backpacks, satchels or coolers if they believe the items are being used to carry weapons. Read more here from The Charlotte Observer.

--Conflicts between individual homeowners and the homeowners associations that govern many housing developments took center stage at a state legislative hearing Monday. Read more here.

Democrats put convention money in local, minority-owned banks

The Democrats are trying to make their national convention into more than just a four-day coronation of President Barack Obama in Charlotte next September. They want to turn it into a statewide event that will help keep North Carolina blue.

That was evident Wednesday, when the CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee arrived in Durham to drop off $2 million in deposits each with the Mechanics and Farmers Bank and the Latino Community Credit Union. The money is part of $17 million in public funding the Democrats have received - the Republicans have received a like amount - to help pay for their convention. The Democrats have made it a practice to deposit some of the money in minority-owned financial institutions. It was the first event by the convention committee held outside Charlotte, although others are expected. Read more here.

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