The amendment banning civil unions and same-sex marriage has spurred grass-roots action throughout the state and has helped drive early voters to the polls in record numbers. It has also revealed generational and urban-rural divisions.
Turnout for early voting is high in places such as Mitchell and Alexander counties, which have large Republican majorities and where the amendment is expected to win easily, and in Durham and Orange counties, heavily Democratic counties with a high concentration of younger voters, where it is expected to lose. Read more here -- and get a list of top 10 early vote counties and an age breakdown of voters.
More political headlines:
--Long after the controversy over President Obama’s birthplace seemed settled, some Republican congressional candidates in North Carolina have brought new attention to the issue as they seek advantages in hard-fought primary races.
Richard Hudson told a Tea Party group in Rowan County recently that “there’s no question President Obama is hiding something on his citizenship.” And Hudson, former campaign manager to GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory, isn't the only one.
--Walter Dalton's final week of campaigning took place mostly behind closed doors at fundraisers while rival Bob Etheridge hit the pavement shaking hands and looking for publicity. Such is the dynamic in the final days of the Democratic governor's race.
--In his column, Rob Christensen puts his spin on the Jones Street trysts upending House Speaker Thom Tillis' office.
--State Sen. Eric Mansfield is raising questions about the $300,000-plus in help the state employees association is giving rival Linda Coleman in the Democratic lieutenant governor's race.
--A cliff-hanger lingered in the air Friday as jurors in the John Edwards trial left the courtroom for the weekend. Alexander Forger, a tall, elegant man with a shock of white hair who has practiced law for more than 60 years, delivered this line from the witness stand: “He said that John has acknowledged now that this was for his benefit.”
--North Carolina’s most crowded congressional primary has been marked by personal attacks, calls to dismantle government, a detour into the “birther” controversy and one of the biggest self-funded campaigns in the country. And that’s just the opening round. With 10 Republicans on the ballot, Tuesday’s 9th District primary is almost certainly headed to a July 17 runoff.
--In the neighboring 8th District GOP primary, it's the same story: expect a runoff.
--The three Republican candidates for state insurance commissioner all want fewer regulations and more companies to offer coverage in North Carolina – they just disagree on who’s most capable to make it happen. Mike Causey, James McCall and Richard Morgan are vying for the chance to challenge incumbent Democrat Wayne Goodwin in November.