hagan-tillis• Most of the mainstream media judged last night’s debate between Sen. Kay Hagan and N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis a draw. Historically, that usually means the Republican had the edge. Here’s a typical report, this one from The Hill, that says the debate “is unlikely to move the needle in the hard-fought race.” However, Politico, a left-wing outfit, saw things differently. They say Tillis appeared “more confident and prepared than the incumbent.”

• The Greensboro News & Record is surprised that a candidate is spending campaign money. State Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, they blog, has bought $122,000 of airtime in September. Predictably, to a mainstream media outlet, this means “his presumably safe seat may be more vulnerable than expected.”

• Republican congressional candidate David Rouzer is pushing to retain the “balance between Congress and agencies operating under the executive branch, like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Division of Marine Fisheries.” Lumina News reports that he and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, Republican congressman from Pennsylvania’s 9th district and chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, held a roundtable in Wrightsville Beach with leaders from New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties to discuss the issue.

• Mark Coggins, a Democrat from Lee County, is urging county Democrats to adopt something that is hardly new. The Red Springs Citizen (scroll to bottom item) reports that Coggins advises: “Print the names of all Democratic candidates in large bold letters and the other candidate’s names in very small letters. Place a photo of the Democratic candidates next to their names. Many locales have for decades used similar sample ballots created by PACs. Durham’s Committee on the Affairs of Black People has this down to a science. Perhaps they would consult with the folks in Lee County.