I don’t think there is anybody — outside of Walter Dalton’s immediate family — who hasn’t conceded that we will be spending the next four years talking about GOVERNOR McCrory. The crew on NC Spin was speculating this weekend about whether the former Charlotte mayor will have coattails — enough influence — to drag the rest of the GOP ticket into victory lane with him.
According to media reports, McCrory has a 6-1 fundraising advantage over Walter Dalton and is creeping toward a nearly 2-1 vote margin over Dalton. Yet, McCrory has done next to nothing to help anyone down the ticket. With the exception of Dan Forest, the GOP challenger campaigns down the ballot are really pinching pennies. I’ve talked with aides to several of the down-ballot GOP nominees who tell me that the McCrory camp has sucked up nearly all of the money there is to be given. Pat comes to town, hits the jackpot and blows on down the road. Challenger campaigns come behind him, and find an awful lot of donors tapped out. With the governor’s race well in hand, why not share the wealth and try to help give the folks down-ballot a push?
Some of the down-ballot GOP folks tell me they have resorted to following McCrory around the state, hanging out in the crowd, hoping for the gubernatorial nominee to give them a shout-out from the podium.
I saw a John Locke Foundation study of McCrory’s 2008 campaign. In Mecklenburg County, McCrory’s home base, the former mayor saw low turnout in conservative precincts while he won precincts that also went for Obama and Kay Hagan. On this week’s NC Spin, John Hood admitted that there are a lot of people who will vote Obama, then McCrory.
McCrory has been out of the mayor’s office in Charlotte for four years. Since that time, the Democrats have taken over the council, and a Democrat mayor won reelection. Not many coattails there.
The folks on NC Spin were touting this 53 percent figure as a vote-total benchmark for McCrory to start having coattails. (I don’t know where that figure comes from.)
I don’t believe people are swooning over Mayor Pat. I think it is a statewide desire to change things in Raleigh. Pat is not an ideological guy — more of a back-slapping good-ol-boy who sees the GOP as more of a fraternity or coterie than a political movement. People are putting a lot of their hopes for controlling the growth of government and saving the state and country on the back of a guy who likely doesn’t understand — or possibly care about — their concerns.
Romney and McCrory — two products of the GOP establishment — are benefiting from being in the right place at the right time. They are riding a wave of anger and fear about the antics of Barack Hussein Obama.
I don’t believe McCrory has any real interest in conservative reform. I think he sees this race as a competition for a new employment opportunity — another bureaucracy to preside over.
We’ve got some great candidates for the council of state — Dan Forest for lieutenant governor, John Tedesco for DPI superintendent, Ed Goodwin for secretary of state, Mike Causey for Insurance Commissioner, and Steve Royal for treasurer. Democrats have an 8-2 majority on the council of state. If McCrory is the only non-incumbent Republican to win, there will be a 7-3 Democrat majority. There won’t be much conservative reform going on.
Chris Fitzsimon, of NC PolicyWatch, predicted on today’s show that the level of conservatism in McCrory’s first term will depend on who the Lt. Governor is. If Forest wins, he predicted, McCrory will be pushed to the right. I agree, Chris. That’s one of the best reasons I’ve heard for pulling the lever for Dan. Forest is a businessman who is running out of concern for his state and his country. The guy talks like a conservative, and backs it up with his daily actions. He’ll bring some common sense conservatism to state government. Give Dan some help with people like Ed Goodwin, Mike Causey, Tedesco, and Royal and we’ll have Pat pinned down on the right for some time.
McCrory and Romney are vehicles for people’s anger and frustration with the status quo at the state and federal level. The establishment NEEDS to recognize it and respond appropriately. It’s not about a personal love of Pat and Mitt, it’s about love and devotion for North Carolina and America.