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Morning Roundup: In Charlotte, First Lady says it's all on the line today

First Lady Michelle Obama repeated Monday what her husband did four years ago – held an election eve rally in Charlotte and urged supporters to stay “fired up” for one more day.

“It’s all going to come down to what happens in a few key battleground states like North Carolina,” Obama told more than 4,000 people who jammed a hanger at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. “… It’s all at stake tomorrow.” Full story here.

More political headlines:

--An Election Day primer: N.C. counties to watch, top battleground states and a TV guide. Weather won't be a problem statewide.

Morning Roundup: Sunday voting highlights key constituency this election

Sunday voting is a relatively recent electoral phenomenon that is increasingly embraced by African American churches, organizing get-out-the-vote caravans dubbed “Souls to the Polls.” Sunday voting also is increasingly targeted by critics in this state and elsewhere who want to see the practice banned.

Full story here. And read about how churchgoers are a key constituency this election.

More political headlines below.

Weekend Roundup: McCrory, Dalton defined by party; N.C. is battleground

In profiles of the candidates for governor, two distinct men emerge:

On the stump, Walter Dalton invoked the names of famous Democratic governors: Jim Hunt, Terry Sanford and O. Max Gardner. But as he  tries to call up the ghosts of Gardner, Sanford and Hunt, he is shackled by the more recent past. After 20 straight years of Democratic governors, his party’s brand has been tarnished by controversies and scandals. Full profile here.

Pat McCrory's second run for governor looks and feels different than his first. “What happened in between 2008 and 2012 was the tea party insurgency,” says Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College, McCrory’s alma mater. “McCrory has had to make some philosophical adjustments.” McCrory insists he hasn’t “moved a bit” in his positions or beliefs. But he and his party have made mutual accommodations. Full profile here.

Many more political headlines below.

Morning Roundup: Education divides gubernatorial candidates

The two major-party candidates for governor both stress close connections between education and business but approach the question of improving education from different angles. Democrat Walter Dalton would extend already established paths, while Republican Pat McCrory’s education proposals have the potential to remake the state’s public education system from kindergarten through college.

Read about education in the governor's race, the third installment in a series, and see a graphic of how the plans stack up.

More political headlines:

--On Tuesday, it will be four weeks before the Nov. 6 elections – let the countdown begin. We have had our first debates, more ads than you can shake a stick at, and more than a few motorcades. Read Rob Christensen's tutorial on what to expect in the closing month.

Morning Roundup: Ahead of election, redistricting issues emerge

Confusion created by the newly drawn legislative and congressional maps caused some voters in the May primary to be assigned to the wrong districts and others given the wrong ballots, attorneys representing advocacy groups and registered Democrats say. Read full story here.

More political news:

--Republican legislators at a committee meeting Friday said the state could not afford to contribute to a planned $650 million toll bridge from mainland Currituck County to the northern Outer Banks.

--Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton said Friday that, as governor, he would push to raise N.C. teacher salaries to the national average, better line up school offerings with job skills, and use the bully pulpit to try to get the Republican-controlled legislature to begin restoring many of its previous cuts in education funding.

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.

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.

Morning Roundup: Voter ID offers sharp contrast in governor's race

Six weeks before Election Day, states across the country are still wrestling over new voting laws. They’re among 17 states which, citing voting integrity, have passed ID laws or other measures that could impact the election. Critics say they could suppress turnout by discouraging some voters – especially seniors and minorities – from voting. 

But it’s the absence of such a law in North Carolina that has become an issue in the state’s gubernatorial race, offering a sharp contrast between Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory. Read more here.

More political headlines below.

Morning Roundup: Dalton, McCrory tax plans define governor's race

A defining question in the governor’s race will affect the pocketbooks of every North Carolina resident: Who should pay taxes and how much?

Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory are traveling the state touting wildly different tax plans as part of their pitch to revive the state’s economy and remedy the persistently high jobless rate. Dalton offers modest tweaks to the tax code with a combination of incentives and tax breaks, while McCrory is pushing for a complete overhaul that could shift the state’s tax burden by billions of dollars.

Read the full story here and get a breakdown of the candidates tax plans. Also read about how McCrory and Dalton have a record of supporting tax hikes.

More political headlines:

--Rob Christensen: Last week vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was briefly in the state. On Tuesday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be in North Carolina. The Wisconsin-North Carolina connection is not an obvious one. But the states are more alike than one might imagine at first blush.

Morning Roundup: Will N.C.'s slip from the top turn the election season?

As North Carolina slowly wakes up from the Great Recession, unemployment is stubbornly high at 9.6 percent, income levels are down and the poverty rate has spiked since 2000. Some are asking the inevitable question: Have we slipped?

The debate is under way in every corner of the state as election season builds to a conclusion. It is central in the campaign for governor. Read the full story and see how N.C. ranks.

More political headlines:

--Not all polls are created equal. Jim Morrill breaks the numbers down.

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