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Morning Roundup: TV ads mark crucial point in governor's race

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton began his television advertising campaign Wednesday, in what could be a critical moment in his race against Republican Pat McCrory. Trailing McCrory in the polls and still not known by nearly half the state’s voters, Dalton hopes the statewide TV advertising campaign will provide his candidacy with a much needed boost.

But the fact that the sitting lieutenant governor is running his first ad in mid-September introducing himself to voters shows how far he has to go in the final eight weeks. Read more here.

More political headlines:

--Senior Republican strategist Charlie Black said Wednesday he would “love to see” his party choose Charlotte for its 2016 national convention.

Morning Roundup: Obama camp says it's not leaving North Carolina

Democrats on Monday dismissed a suggestion by the top pollster for Republican Mitt Romney that President Barack Obama’s campaign is “laying the groundwork for a stealth withdrawal” from North Carolina.

The dueling claims came four days after the Democratic convention in Charlotte – and 56 before Election Day – as both sides jockeyed for the upper hand in North Carolina, a state Politico called Monday one of nine remaining presidential battlegrounds. Read more here.

Other political headlines this morning:

--Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton on Monday offered a jobs plan that he said avoids “rigid ideology” but includes a series of practical ideas that he said would help address North Carolina’s high unemployment rate.

Morning Roundup: The election battle is defined by 10 states

Get ready for an all-out brawl in 10 too-close-to-call battleground states as President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney begin a two-month sprint to Election Day.

They will deluge those states with personal visits, stacks of direct mail, automated phone calls and an unprecedented barrage of TV ads in tossup states Florida, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Michigan and Ohio. They'll probably all but ignore the rest of America. Read a breakdown here.

More political headlines:

--Young voters in North Carolina less excited than other age groups, poll shows.

Morning Roundup DNC edition: Anthony Foxx readies for the spotlight

From the 15th floor mayor’s office it is about five miles from the working class Lincoln Heights neighborhood in West Charlotte where Anthony Foxx grew up.

But his journey seems longer and more improbable. Tonight it will take him to the podium of the Time Warner Cable Arena Tuesday to welcome the Democrats to Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention – the first national party convention hosted by the state. Read Rob Christensen's full column here and a profile here.

More political headlines from the N&O and Charlotte Observer:

--DNC wrap: The fight for women voters. Party's platform will highlight controversial issues in North Carolina. Occupy protests Monday night cause disruptions. More planned today. Jon Stewart's backyard cook out. Rain drenches DNC street festival. Police were everywhere. Columnist: Welcome to Smurf City. Youth Council builds enthusiasm for Obama. The day for delegates. The alternate speakers platform may not get many visits.

Morning Roundup DNC edition: The deubutante turned Obama money machine

When Barack Obama began his quest for the presidency, one of the first people he hired was a former Eastern North Carolina debutante-turned star political fundraiser named Julianna Smoot. 

Her job four years ago was to raise a campaign war chest large enough to take on the vaunted Bill and Hillary Clinton money machine. This year, it’s to raise more money than Republican Mitt Romney. She raised $880 million for the 2008 election. So far this election cycle, she has raised $600 million. That makes her the $1.4 billion woman and counting. Read the full story here.

More political headlines from the News & Observer and Charlotte Observer:

--National political conventions used to be about just two things: Nominate a presidential ticket, then sell it to the American electorate with a big TV show. This year, there’s a third goal: Win North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes – and perhaps a second term in the White House – by using the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte as a campaign organizing tool.

Morning Roundup: A North Carolina political primer ahead of the DNC

North Carolina Democrats enter the national convention in their home state with much to prove. More than anything, the state’s partisan faithful must demonstrate that President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory in this traditionally Republican state was not a fluke – that North Carolina deserves to host the Democratic convention and merits a spot among the more traditional campaign battleground states like Florida and Ohio. Read the full story here.

More politics from the News & Observer and Charlotte Observer below:

--A complete North Carolina political primer from one of the experts, UNC Journalism Prof and former N&O writer Ferrel Guillory: "Once viewed as falling below the norm in many national comparisons, North Carolina’s mixture of civic and economic strengths and weaknesses now are more in keeping with mainstream America. The state has become less a lagging and more a leading indicator of national issues and trends."

Morning Roundup: GOP hits 2-for-3 on its convention goals

Like baseball players who come to Florida for spring training, Republicans came to Tampa hoping to get their ticket punched – their national ticket that is.

The Republicans seemed to have at least three major goals at their national nominating convention that they completed last night at Tampa: unify and excite the base, humanize their nominee, Mitt Romney, and neutralize the Medicare issue. Check out Rob Christensen's scorecard here.

More political headlines:

--Mitt Romney's speech. And a fact check of GOP claims.

--Hosting a convention for a pro-union political party in one of the nation’s most anti-union states has its challenges.

--A Charlotte festival that was supposed to offer conservatives an “alternative voice” during Democratic convention week has been canceled.

Morning Roundup: Richard Burr happy to stay out of the RNC fray

As the ranking Republican in one of the nation’s leading battleground states, one might figure that GOP Sen. Richard Burr would be front and center at the Republican National Convention. But Burr has kept such a low profile that he’s barely been visible. He has no speaking part at the convention. On Wednesday, he was the eighth speaker at the North Carolina delegation breakfast. Burr says that is fine by him. Read more from Rob Christensen here.

More political headlines and a Democratic convention news:

--The Democratic National Convention added a bunch of North Carolinians to the list of speakers including Harvey Gantt, Mel Watt, Jim Hunt, Kay Hagan and others.

Morning Roundup: McCrory does political balancing act

If it wasn’t for presidential politics, McCrory believes he would be in the middle of a re-election campaign for governor. But this time, McCrory said things will be different. Even if he won't celebrate with them in Tampa.

It was slightly awkward to have New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sing his praises to a Tar Heel delegation breakfast Monday in St. Pete, while McCrory was back in North Carolina. McCrory appears to be trying to perform a political balancing act – being a party loyalist in supporting the national ticket while at the same time trying to broaden his coalition by reaching out to independents and Democrats. Read more here.

More politics:

--From the RNC: Ann Romney humanizes her husband and the GOP adopts a platform.

--Protesters went door-to-door in a low-income west Charlotte neighborhood on Tuesday to face one of their biggest challenges: Convincing the poor to join street demonstrations meant to highlight their struggles.

Morning Roundup: A look at the GOP's presidential man, Charlie Black

Charlie Black, the polished, polite, soft-spoken North Carolinian, may have seen the inside of more presidential campaigns than any man alive. Ronald Reagan’s campaign in 1976 was his first. Mitt Romney’s is his 10th. Read more about Black.

More political headlines below:

--Play with an interactive map looking at North Carolina's demographics and politics.

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