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Recent polls by N.C. Citizens for Progress and Public Policy Polling show Republican Pat McCrory with a consistent six to seven point lead over Democrat Walter Dalton in the race to become North Carolina’s next governor. But PPP’s poll director Tom Jensen says the undecided voters will be the ones to watch heading into this fall.

Jensen says data shows that group of voters leaning more toward Barack Obama than Mitt Romney in the presidential race, and that could help make the gubernatorial contest much more competitive than it appear in the July poll numbers.

He also believes the state budget, which earned the support of just 24% of those PPP surveyed, could influence who voters back as they learn more about what was and wasn’t funded.

Jensen joins us this weekend on News & Views to handicap the political races up and down the ballot and weigh-in on whether the millions spent on campaign ads really works.

For a preview of Tom Jensen’s radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon, click below:

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As an accompaniment to last evening’s Crucial Conversation in Fayetteville,  NC Policy Watch released another edition of its Carolina Issues poll. As in Charlotte a couple of weeks back, we asked Faytteville voters what they thought about an array of issues, including: The General Assembly’s decision to cut taxes and core services during the 2011 session, Speaker Thom Tillis’ recent “divide and conquer” statement, Occupy Wall Street  and much more.

As in Charlotte, voters voiced a great deal of skepticsm about many of the choices that conservative leaders have made. For instance, Read More

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The good folks at Public Policy Polling have a fascinating memo out this morning on the recent election results in Wake County.

The message: Taking it to the right-wing does more to energize Democrats and to win over independents.  

“This was not a race where Democrats played nice- they took the fight to the Republican candidates and exploited their close ties to an increasingly unpopular Tea Party movement.  And it worked, in a district Read More