More than 4 million slightly confusing voter guides went to North Carolina mailboxes last week, courtesy of the state.
So where were the listings and biographical information for the governors race, lieutenant governor and other big statewide contests?
Heres the deal: The guides only cover candidates for statewide judicial offices and for three Council of State races.
Thats because those are the only candidates eligible for public campaign funding through the states Public Campaign Fund.
The cost of the mailings nearly $152,000 comes from a $3 voluntary North Carolina tax checkoff, as well as a surcharge on lawyers dues to the State Bar. Jim Morrill
Kissell losing TV money?
Back in July, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee bragged that the committee had reserved $1.1 million of air time for U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell in the Charlotte market. That was then.
Last week, Roll Call reported that the DCCC had canceled a second week of advertising in Kissells 8th District.
It reported the DCCCs independent expenditure arm had canceled the week of Oct. 9-15. That came after it canceled the week of Oct. 2-8.
The DCCCs counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, has been on the air against Kissell since Sept. 7. Kissell, running against Republican Richard Hudson, is widely viewed as one of the nations most vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Jim Morrill
GOP poll: Hudson ahead
Polls by candidates and their parties are notoriously suspect. But the National Republican Congressional Committee is touting one it did in North Carolinas 8th District.
It shows Richard Hudson at 50 percent, with a 9-point lead over Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell.
Kissell spokesman Christopher Schuler said the Democratic campaign is not worried.
The NRCC also had (former GOP Rep.) Robin Hayes up by double digits in 2006 and 2008, and even had Harold Johnson within a point or two in 2010, he said. Jim Morrill
Hunt on the trail
Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt is hitting the campaign trail for President Barack Obama over the next month, conducting what is being called a middle-class listening tour.
Hunt, a four-term governor, will meet at the homes of local families in the Triangle, Triad, Charlotte and Greenville to discuss the choices they face in the next election. Gov. Hunt is one of North Carolinas greatest advocates, and we are thrilled to have him back on the campaign trail for the president, said Cameron French, Obamas state campaign spokesman. News & Observer
Still time to register
North Carolinas voter registration deadline is Oct. 12. But that comes with a caveat.
Would-be voters can also register at early voting sites. Early voting opens Oct. 18 and ends Nov. 3.
However, people who register at early voting sites will have to have their registration verified in order to have their ballots counted, a process that could take several days. Jim Morrill
More close N.C. races
A poll by the conservative Civitas Institute provides an in-depth look at how Council of State races are shaping up, and the biggest revelation is that Democrat Linda Coleman is leading Republican Dan Forest in the race to become North Carolinas lieutenant governor.
Coleman would pick up 43 percent of the vote, while Forest would take 39 percent, according to the poll, with the remaining undecided or unwilling to participate in the survey.
Forest is within the polls 4 percent margin of error.
Any name recognition is important in the so-called down ballot races, Civitas President Francis X. De Luca said. However, there were substantial numbers of undecided voters in these surveys. Last-minute campaigning and voter turnout likely will play big roles in the final outcomes.
National Research, a New Jersey-based firm, conducted a survey of 600 registered North Carolina voters on Sept. 18 and 19. News & Observer
Early foe for Hagan?
Veteran Democratic consultant Gary Pearce believes the Democratic majority on the Wake County Board of Education made a major misstep last week in firing Superintendent Tony Tata and may have even launched him in a Senate bid in 2014.
Even strong Democrats believe the Wake school board flunked this test, Pearce writes in his blog, Talking About Politics. The board majority may have done the right thing, but they sure did it the wrong way. And Democrats may pay the price. It was a mistake to fire Tony Tata without first setting out a bill of particulars. You cant fire a superintendent, then refuse to say why because its a personnel matter.
Pearce wrote that Tata gets a years pay, so he could start running against Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan in 2014. News & Observer