by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• The Democratic Public Policy Polling firm finds the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and GOP House Speaker Thom Tillis closing, with Hagan leading 42-38 (she had a 7-point lead in the previous poll). Libertarian Sean Haugh gets 8 percent. If Haugh weren’t running, Hagan’s lead would shrink to a single point, 43-42. Voters leaning toward Haugh prefer Tillis by a 3-1 margin, so the Libertarian could be a spoiler. Neither major party candidate is popular, with Hagan’s favorable/unfavorable split at 42/49, and Tillis’ at 28/48. Also of interest: Republicans are warming to Tillis, moving from a 39/29 rating last month to 52/24 in the most recent survey.
• Both Hagan and Tillis have been campaigning this week in Charlotte. Hagan met supporters in her Queen City office, and Tillis attended a private fundraiser featuring 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
• Is today the “die” of sine die? House and Senate leaders have worked out a compromise on clean up requirements for Duke Energy’s coal ash containment ponds. The measure is set for a vote in both chambers today, making it possible that the rather lengthy short session would adjourn today.
• During a Tuesday conference call, leaders of the NC NAACP announce they would join NAACP chapters in five other states for a week of protests leading up to August 28, the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The protests will begin Friday.