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Morning Memo: As storm approaches, House set for major tax vote

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: As a tropical storm hits Raleigh, the House will meet in its first full Friday session this year to debate a tax bill that represents one of the most expansive policy changes in decades. At the same time, appropriation subcommittees will meet to roll out the House budget, meeting before and after session. The Senate adjourned until Monday. The House action precedes what is expected to be a busy time next week in Raleigh with budget and taxes, among dozens of other bills, moving quickly as the legislature nears adjournment toward the end of the month. Top GOP lawmakers will rush from the statehouse to Charlotte for the state Republican Party convention. Gov. Pat McCrory will hold a reception at the convention this evening.

NEW NUMBERS SHOW TAX BILLS AFFECTS: The median North Carolina family would get a modest tax break while wealthy taxpayers may see a significant cut under a sweeping bill primed for a landmark House vote Friday. (Read more below.)

***Special Friday Dome Morning Memo edition. Read more about the tax plan on the House floor below and a recap from President Barack Obama's visit.***

Morning Memo: North Carolina as a model for the national GOP?

N.C. AS A MODEL FOR THE NATIONAL GOP? For most Republicans, November was grim. But in North Carolina it was a happier story. “North Carolina could be a model for ‘red state’ resurgence,” says Marc Rotterman, a GOP strategist from Raleigh.

North Carolina Republicans will showcase their performance this week to the Republican National Committee, which starts its three-day winter meeting Wednesday at the Westin in uptown. A presentation scheduled for Thursday is called “Success in N.C.: A Blueprint for the Future.” But how much of that blueprint can be replicated is debatable.

***Welcome to the Dome Morning Memo -- the source for N.C. political news and analysis. Click below to read more.***

Everything that happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas

Gov.-elect Pat McCrory and N.J. Gov. Chris Christie shared a tender moment last week at the Republican Governors conference in Las Vegas, according to a story in today's New York Times.

Morning Roundup: 5 reasons why Obama lost N.C.; McCrory's new challenge

President Barack Obama almost ran the table Tuesday night when it came to battleground states. The lone exception: North Carolina.

Of a dozen competitive states, it was the only one that went from Democratic blue in 2008 to Republican red this year. Why didn’t Obama carry the Tar Heel State? Read five reasons here and see a map of results here.

More political headlines:

--Pat McCrory on Thursday will set foot in the Capitol for the first time as governor-elect. A block north, he will see a major challenge facing his administration: the N.C. General Assembly. 

--The 7th Congressional campaign and the lieutenant governor's race are headed to overtime. A recount looms.

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.

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.

Final PPP poll: Presidential race tied, McCrory's lead shrinks

The final poll before the election in North Carolina showed the presidential race deadlocked and the governor's race tightening a bit.

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are tied at 49 percent, according to Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm that surveyed likely voters Saturday and Sunday. It's the firm's third poll in a row to show a tie. Obama built an advantage in early voting, the poll found, 54 percent to 45 percent, but Romney will have an advantage with those planning to vote on Election Day, 57 percent to 41 percent.

In the governor's race, Republican Pat McCrory continues to lead -- but his double-digit advantage is shrinking. McCrory received 50 percent to 43 percent for Democrat Walter Dalton.

Seven burning questions in North Carolina on Election Day

The 2012 Election will answer many questions about North Carolina politics. Does Pat McCrory have coattails? Just how red with the state's congressional delegation get? Will the "banjo ad" work?

Read below about seven burning questions for Tuesday below from the Observer's Tim Funk.

Weekend Roundup: Election 2012's final push and top races

The final flurry of the 2012 campaign began this weekend. A full roundup of the coverage and click "read more" to see additional stories.

--The candidates for governor started their final push miles away but the campaigns felt further apart than ever. The presidential candidates crisscrossed the country looking for final votes. The expensive and close race between David Rouzer and Mike McIntyre neared a close, as did the 9th Congressional District candidates in Charlotte.

--Early voting totals topped 2.7 million (counted so far) breaking all records. But did the GOP bank enough votes? See a map here.

--Rob Christensen's four races to watch on Tuesday.

Morning Roundup: Ellmers gets the benefit of a newly drawn district

Democrat Steve Wilkins, running in a tough congressional race against Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers, says his 22 years of military service – which include a key role in planning the invasion of Iraq – show the spirit of public service Washington needs to break the partisan logjam.

Wilkins is at the polls every day, introducing himself to early voters. But the odds are against him. National Democrats haven’t poured money into his campaign. And Ellmers, with much more cash, has another big advantage: The Republican legislature redrew her district in her favor. Full race profile here.

More political headlines:

--The main candidates for governor say they favor taking some steps to make state government more transparent, but both avoid sweeping promises about opening up many more records than are already public.

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