The Democratic Governors Association appears to be conceding the N.C. governor's race to Republicans.
A DGA-funded liberal group supporting Democratic candidate Walter Dalton's is not running TV ads this week -- as hundreds of thousands of voters go to the polls -- and no commercials are scheduled to appear in the final week before the election.
A spokesman for N.C. Citizens for Progress, the group helping Dalton, said national Democrats have not abandoned the race entirely, but he acknowledged it is dark this week with no concrete plans to make future TV ad purchases. The group "is currently assessing the political landscape to determine its actions for the last two weeks of the campaign," said Michael Weisel, a Raleigh attorney with the Citizens group.
A DGA official also cautioned that its money spigot is not disconnected for good. But the fact the group is no longer airing its attack ads against Republican Pat McCrory, who holds a double-digit lead in the polls, suggests the group is not as committed to the race as it once pledged. To re-engage, political observers suggest, a significant development would need to alter the race.
Earlier this year, the DGA floated the idea it would spend about $5 million in the race. And DGA Chairman Martin O'Malley, the governor of Maryland, assured N.C. Democrats that his group would help elect Dalton. Gov. Bev Perdue is the vice chairwoman.
But so far the DGA has spent just $2.6 million. At the same time, the Republican Governors Association has spent about $4.7 million through different avenues. The RGA recently cut its nearly all its spending for the final two weeks, confident in McCrory's lead.