by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
• A recent Civitas Poll asking voters about 2016 presidential hopefuls found much indecision. “Don’t know” finished first among Democrats and Republicans, outpolling former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 37 percent to 33 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 34 percent to 14 percent. A separate poll on contenders for governor shows incumbent Republican Pat McCrory with a 43 percent to 38 percent lead over his likely Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper.
• The state budget, now being reconciled in a House-Senate conference committee, is becoming a bit of a battleground among Senate leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory. McCrory wants the General Assembly to place nearly $3 billion in transportation and infrastructure bonds on the ballot as early as November. The Senate says the state is collecting enough tax revenues to pay for construction needs without taking on new debt.
• Project GROW, the female Republican candidate recruitment group co-founded by Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-2nd District, may merge with the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns organization. The NRCC started Young Guns to identify promising candidates, provide money, and prepare them to run successful campaigns.
• A Washington Post political blog gives a host of reasons businessman Donald Trump, whose comments about illegal immigrants from Mexico have made him a lightning rod (and led to the termination of a host of business deals), should be considered “the Michelle Bachmann” of the 2016 campaign. Bachmann, a former U.S. Representative from Minnesota, raced to the front of the 2012 presidential polls as a result of controversial comments about Islamist terrorism and President Obama only to crash rapidly.