Yesterday I attended the Raleigh Chamber’s  “Federal Issues Review Forum” in the morning and the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation’s “Political Money Wars” briefing in the afternoon.  It was a full day with expert speakers and lots of interesting information.  Isn’t the political season fun?

Here are 17 take-aways from yesterday’s events for August 17:

1. Recent polls tell us about 45% of voters will vote for Romney and about 45% will vote for Obama.  Millions of dollars are being spent to convince the remaining 10%.

2. Biggest worry for Obama is turnout.  Are they still as excited as they were in 2008?  Biggest worry for Romney is the map.  He can win NC, VA, OH, and FL and still lose. Needs all those and one more.

3. Presidential Political Outreach:

  • Youth – Student loan forgiveness program
  • Hispanics  – DREAM law via executive order
  • Women – invent War on Women with contraceptive controversy
  • Enviros –delaying approval of Keystone Pipeline
  • Gays – oppose marriage amendment

4. Message has changed from “Hope and Change” to “The other guy is worse than me”

5. In case of an Electoral College tie, congress decides.

6. Two ways to look at the economy –and they go hand in hand.

  • Short run cyclical – recession and recovery driven
  • Long run structural – setting path for the next 50-75 years

7. US households have lost $13 Trillion in the recession.  Now they are reluctant to spend, saving more, paying down debt and generally becoming much more frugal.

8. Expect three more years of sub-par growth.

9. Spending on fuel/gasoline is 6% of total spending.

10. Raleigh-Cary leads the state in job growth at 6.4%.  Charlotte is next at 4.5%

11. NC voter registration as of Aug. 7: 43.2% Democrats, 31.3% Republicans, 25.3% Unaffiliated, .2% Libertarians. Biggest increase is in unaffiliated.

12. Obama has 40 field offices in NC; Romney has 20.

13. In 2010, 26 outside groups spent $6.6 Million in North Carolina, $2.3 M of that in state legislative races.

14. So far in 2012, outside groups have spent $3M in US House, Council of State and state legislature races.

15. ProRomney/AntiObama outside groups have spent $12.5M in 2012 in NC.

16. The Republican Governors’ Association has spent $1.4M and reserved another $3M in TV airtime while the Democratic Governors’ Association has spent $1.5M.

17. In perhaps the most important NC race of 2012, Paul Newby has $322k in the bank; his challenger for the Supreme Court, Sam Erwin has $302k. Both took $240k in public financing.  Expect to see spending from outside groups in this race.

There will be much more fun between now and November.  And then in 2013, we’ll be ready for even more fun!  Join in!