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Outside spending more even this election, preliminary reports suggest

Spending by third-party groups in North Carolina legislative races appears to have been more even than in the previous election cycle, even as Republicans dominated individual and caucus fundraising, Scott Mooneyham at The Insider reports.

IRS documents and state campaign finance reports seem to indicate that the spending by the two major 527 groups in North Carolina -- Real Jobs NC, which backed Republican candidates, and Common Sense Matters, which backed Democratic candidates, spent similar amounts. Those reports show Real Jobs NC spending $812,605, compared to $773,641 for Common Sense Matters.

Can the GOP keep its grip on North Carolina?

Francis De Luca, a conservative thinker at the Civitias Institute, explores a question on the minds of many in the North Carolina political sphere after Republicans captured the governor's mansion, supermajorities in the state legislature and the likely the lieutenant governor's post.

Will Republicans become a lasting majority? DeLuca writes: "Republican leaders will have to work hard to make the change a lasting one, rather than just another bump in the road for NC Democrats like others over the last 30 years.

... How does this happen? The governor and legislative leaders will have to embrace bold policies that address the problems that have plagued North Carolina fiscally and educationally." Read his full column here.

Morning Roundup: Republicans win big in North Carolina

Election Night revealed major victories for Republicans in North Carolina. Republicans won the presidential, congressional delegation, governor, lieutenant governor, N.C. Supreme Court races -- as well as took a supermajority in the state House and Senate. All together it represents a conservative shift in N.C. politics, writes Rob Christensen.

Here's a wrap on the coverage:

--President Barack Obama wins re-election. Democrats keep U.S. Senate, House remains GOP. The challenge awaiting Obama.

--Mitt Romney won North Carolina. N.C.'s congressional delegation turns deep red. Congressman Mike McIntyre holds narrow edge, recount next. U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers wins easy. Election photo gallery.

McCrory campaign won't release an ethics plan it pledged months ago

Two months ago, Pat McCrory's campaign pledged to release an ethics plan for the Republican's potential administration. But now it's obvious it won't happen.

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.

Civitas poll: Romney, Obama locked in tight race in North Carolina

UPDATED: The conservative Civitias Institute sponsored a poll last week that found the presidential race in North Carolina essentially tied. 

The survey of likely voters released Friday gave Republican Mitt Romney 48 percent and President Barack Obama 47 percent, a one-point lead within the four-point margin of error. The Civitas poll echoes a more recent one released Thursday from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, which showed the race knotted at 48 percent.

The poll was conducted by National Resarch Inc. from Oct. 20-21 and reached 600 likely voters.

Elizabeth City paper endorses Dalton, UNC-CH student paper picks McCrory

Two more newspaper editorial board endorsements split their picks between Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory.

The opinion shop at The Daily Advance in Elizabeth City endorsed Dalton. He will better stand up for rural parts of the state and serve as a veto threat to what is likely to be another Republican-controlled legislature," the newspaper's editorial board wrote.

Morning Roundup: McCrory goes moderate, a new Goldman police report

Republican Pat McCrory continued his moderate transformation during Wednesday's debate, shedding his tea party and conservative cape as he said legislation restricting abortions and cracking down on illegal immigration won't appear on his agenda if elected. At the same time, Democrat Walter Dalton made a bold pledge to lower the employment rate as much as 3 percent in his first year. Pundits say the debate isn't the game changer Dalton needed. Read more here and see four fact checks from the debate.

More political headlines:

--In a new development that raises questions about Debra Goldman's judgment, another police report surfaced showing that the GOP state auditor candidate called 911 after a fellow board member yelled at her during a heated Wake school board meeting.

Long lines prompt state to ask counties to consider extending early voting

With persistent long lines, state election officials are asking counties to consider extending the early voting times and days.

"The wait time at some sites is as long as 2 hours. County Boards should take immediate steps to alleviate these delays and facilitate a more efficient voting process for North Carolina voters," wrote Gary Bartlett, the state's elections chief, in a memorandum sent Monday to all 100 county boards of elections.

Morning Roundup: Goldman-Malone relationship detailed in police report

UPDATED: Wake school board members Debra Goldman and Chris Malone found themselves in a messy situation, which strained the rest of the board. Now it could affect the November election. Goldman is the Republican candidate for state auditor and Malone is seeking a N.C. House seat.

More political headlines:

--The race for lieutenant governor may be the highest office Democrats can win. Democrat Linda Coleman faces  Dan Forest, a conservative, tea party Republican. Meet the candidates.

--In case you missed it, here's a profile of GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory, whose shifting politics has put him in the lead.

--Rob Christensen writes about the intersection of Bill Friday and politics.

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