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Morning Memo: What Pat McCrory and Bev Perdue have in common

SENATE OVERRIDE VOTE EXPECTED: The state House on Tuesday took little more than half an hour to override the governor’s vetoes of two bills, on immigration and drug-testing welfare recipients. The resurrected legislation now passes to the Senate, which will vote Wednesday morning and is expected to easily override. Gov. Pat McCrory lobbied House members to sustain the vetoes to little success -- but he didn't try a similiar effort with lawmakers in the Senate, a chamber that he has been at odds with for most of the legislative session.

HOW PAT McCRORY AND BEV PERDUE ARE ALIKE: From Catawba College political expert Michael Bitzer: "What appears to be constant between the two governors is the distaste by independent voters. While (former Gov. Bev) Perdue faired worse earlier than (Gov. Pat) McCrory has, they both have reached a similar point of nearly 50 percent disapproval among independent voters. While the Perdue-McCrory gap is pretty noticeable among independents expressing their disapproval, the convergence in August, after the dust of the legislative sessions had settled, is pretty striking." See his analysis of polling results and the one chart that tells the McCrory story.

***Read more on the override votes in the House and where the N.C. delegation stands on Syria below in the Dome Morning Memo.***

Marcus Brandon forms committee for congressional bid

Democratic State Rep. Marcus Brandon made his intentions to seek Congressman Mel Watt's 12th District seat official, according to Federal Election Commission documents made public this week.

Watt is President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Federal Housing Finance Administration. If confirmed, a Democratic frenzy is expected in the race to replace him.

A campaign treasurer for Brandon, a High Point political consultant, filed papers May 1, the day the president announced Watt's appointment, to create the Marcus Brandon for Congress political committee, the first step needed to raise money for a potential bid.

Morning Memo: McCrory-Cooper face off on immigrant driver's licenses

UPDATED: McCRORY-COOPER SHOWDOWN: Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's Division of Motor Vehicles is refusing to issue immigrants in the deferred action program driver's licenses but Democrat Attorney General Roy Cooper says they must.

The state Attorney General’s office said Thursday that young illegal immigrants participating in an Obama administration program blocking deportation for two years should be eligible for driving privileges in North Carolina, but by day’s end it wasn’t clear whether the DMV would issue them. But by late Thursday, more than five hours after the opinion was released, acting DMV Commissioner J. Eric Boyette said DMV officials had not formulated their response. “We have just received the ruling from the Attorney General’s office regarding driver’s licenses for people in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program today and we are in the process of reviewing it,” Boyette said by email.

***This is the Dome Morning Memo, a roundup of political news and analysis in North Carolina.

Morning Memo: McCrory's approval slides, Congressman Price prominent on guns

MORNING MEMO EXCLUSIVE: GOV. McCRORY'S POLL NUMBERS SLIP. A new Public Policy Polling survey finds the new Republican governor's approval ratings at 45 percent to start his first term, down eight points from a month ago. The new poll -- set for release later Wednesday -- suggests his cabinet picks may have pulled his popularity downward. Among those who know, 31 percent approve of his cabinet and 24 percent disapprove. Likewise, more people disapprove of McCrory's controversial picks Art Pope and Tony Tata than approve, though most people aren't sure about the two.

MORE PEOPLE UNSURE: The Raleigh-based Democratic polling firm found Republicans approve 73 percent to 6 percent, independents split 43 to 23 and Democrats even at 26 percent. All the numbers are lower than the previous month, with those people unsure what to think about McCrory on the rise. The falling numbers put his approval rate at the start of his term in the neighborhood of his Democratic predecessor, Gov. Bev Perdue. Four years ago, she started with an approval rating at 43 percent.

***This is the Dome Morning Memo -- the source for breaking news, analysis and a daily news digest for North Carolina politics.

Morning Roundup: A N.C. company touted by President Obama closes abrubtly

A North Carolina furniture company closed abruptly Thursday just one year after it was hailed by President Barack Obama as an example of the recovering U.S. economy. Lincolnton Furniture Company operations stopped indefinitely and only a few people will remain employed moving forward, company financial officer Ben Causey said. Full story here.

More political headlines:

--North Carolina's congressional delegation is now firmly Republican after GOP redistricting redrew the political favor. Here's a look at Raleigh Republican George Holding's outlook as a freshman. He has one priority: cutting spending.

--For Raleigh-based state government workers who endured four years without a pay raise, the free bus pass was a nice benefit while it lasted. The state ended its funding.

From right to far-right: Cross-section of conservatives makes fiscal cliff demands

Veteran North Carolina Republican political strategist Marc Rotterman, a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation, is one of 38 prominent conservatives who have signed a petition making demands about the fiscal cliff negotiations.

Democrats: Ryan plan good for rich, bad for middle class

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House budget, was in Raleigh Wednesday, to counter the appearance of Republican presidential candidate Paul Ryan, the House budget chairman.

“I think its important to tell the whole truth of what the Ryan plan would do,” said Van Hollen.

“If you wade through all the numbers you will find that the choice it makes is it provide another round of windfall tax cuts to the very wealthy, people like Mitt Romney at the expense of everyone else, including seniors on Medicare who will pay more, including middle income tax payers who will pay higher taxes so that the very wealthy can pay less taxes...” the Maryland congressman said in an interview at The Raleigh Times restaurant.

Is it time for moderate N.C. Democratic congressmen to switch parties?

The fine line between a Southern conservative Democrat and a Republican continues to fade – fast. That certainly appears to be the case in North Carolina, where two of the remaining House Democrats have adopted the tactic that in order to win re-election, they must steer clear of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

In the past two weeks, North Carolina Democratic Reps. Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell have announced they will not endorse Obama and, furthermore, plan to vote to repeal his signature health care plan. In North Carolina, some former supporters say it’s time for Kissell and McIntyre to change parties. Read more here.

N.C. Republican hopeful Scott Keadle regrets comments on Obama’s birthplace

As his competition endured criticism for questioning President Barack Obama’s birthplace, congressional candidate Scott Keadle of North Carolina took the high road last week and said he hadn’t spent “two seconds of my life thinking” about Obama’s birthplace.

But that’s not what Keadle told a tea party group last month in Rowan County, N.C., during a heated primary race for the Republican nomination for North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District. Keadle, who’s now in a two-man runoff July 17 with former congressional chief of staff Richard Hudson, told the Rowan County Tea Party Patriots in April that he’d demand an investigation into the president’s eligibility, whatever the personal costs.

“If you’ll elect me to Congress, I will absolutely make sure that I don’t shut up until there is an investigation to find out if the president is eligible to be the president,” Keadle told the group, according to a video of the event. “That’s the end of that. And, they can do whatever they want to me.”

Asked about the apparent contradiction, Keadle said Monday that he’d made a mistake, was caught up in the adrenaline of the forum and had failed to qualify his statement. He said he had no intention of pursuing an investigation of Obama’s birthplace unless constituents asked him to.

“I didn’t get it right that day. I didn’t think I got it that bad, but I did,” Keadle said, adding later, “Yes, I do believe he was born in the United States and no, I don’t want to be dragged into the middle of this.”

See a video on the jump below.

President Obama to visit UNC-Chapel Hill next week as part of national tour

President Barack Obama will visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Tuesday as part of a nationwide tour to promote lower interest rates on student loans, the White House announced Friday.

He will also appear on a special broadcast of NBC’s Jimmy Fallon show taped on the campus featuring the musician Dave Matthews.

The Chapel Hill campus is the first of three universities on the tour designed to pressure Congress to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling this summer. More than 7.4 million students hold loans with 3.4 percent interest. The White House believes there is still time for Congress to prevent the increase from taking effect July 1.

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