by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• Happy Tax Filing Day! Carolina Journal’s Kari Travis reports that, within 24 hours, you’ll be paid up for 2015. Kinda.
• U.S. Sen. Richard Burr has roughly $2.4 million available for his 2016 re-election bid, The Charlotte Observer reports. He has no Democratic opponent at this point, and he also has less cash on hand than incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan had in the bank at the same point in her 2014 campaign (although it was clear she would face off against now-Sen. Thom Tillis and other Republican challengers). (Added, 2:45 p.m. Burr has lost a potential challenger. State Treasurer Janet Cowell announced via Twitter and Facebook that she plans to seek a third term. National Democrats have urged Cowell to consider a race against the GOP incumbent.)
• Gary Robertson of The Associated Press profiles the 2016-campaign-that-isn’t for governor, noting that Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper continues to act very much like a candidate for the state’s top executive branch official and incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is willing to let the state party handle campaigning for now.
• While Cooper has made no formal announcement, there’s little doubt he’s running. Wes Tripp, an intern for state Rep. Michael Wray, D-Northampton, posted on his Twitter feed that he’s taking a position as a finance intern for the Cooper’s campaign team.
• President Obama heads to Charlotte today with 53 percent of North Carolinians disapproving of his job in office. That’s based on the most recent survey by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, showing the president with a 42 percent approval rating. The poll also reveals Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton in a virtual tie with every likely Republican challenger, even though she’s 14 points underwater among respondents, with 39 percent having a favorable opinion of the former secretary of state and 53 percent viewing her unfavorably.