by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• A new poll of North Carolina registered voters for Human Events by Gravis Marketing shows incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan with a slight lead over Republican Thom Tillis, 44 percent to 41 percent with 15 percent undecided. In a preview of the 2016 governor’s race, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper outpolls incumbent Pat McCrory, 46 percent to 44 percent. President Obama’s approval rating is 41 percent, with 52 percent disapproving.
• Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley will address the Forsyth County Senior Democrats Aug. 7. Beasley faces Republican attorney Michael Robinson in the November election.
• Cleaning up coal ash residue from energy production, an issue that’s become a campaign concern for Tillis,
will not may not be resolved until after the November election. House and Senate negotiators could not reach a deal before the Senate left town. The coal ash controversy, and Medicaid reform, are expected to highlight a lame-duck legislative session. (UPDATE: The House could move to add the coal ash bill to its adjournment resolution and deal with the dispute when both chambers return in August.)
• Gallup’s most recent measure of voter identification shows Democrats with a 2-point edge in the “generic” vote — an indication of partisan voter enthusiasm. Gallup pollsters say that’s not a good sign for Democrats, as they had a similar lead at the same time in the 1994, 2002, and 2010 cycles, when Republicans cleaned up. In his Daily Journal column, JLF’s John Hood also notes that other polls at the same stage of the 2010 race found Republicans ahead. Stay tuned …