BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for November 2, 2010
BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for November 3, 2010

Early elections line: Hill back, Price race tight, street bonds look to pass

Election results are coming in, both in Durham and the Triangle and nation at large. In races of local interest, with just over 70% of Durham votes in:

  • The N&O is reporting a tight contest between David Price and B.J. Lawson, with the Democratic long-time incumbent only ahead by 2%, 51% to 49%. In Durham Co., Price leads 72.8% to 27.2%.
  • Turnout is 60.6% among registered voters in Durham.
  • Street bonds look like they'll pass, currently leading 57% to 43%. And most of the Durham Committee stronghold precincts are in; since the Committee is the only PAC to have opposed the bonds, it would seem to be smooth sailing -- and kudos due to elected officials and City leaders for getting the news out to voters.
  • Worth Hill is cruising to a victory in the sheriff race, 79% to 21%.

Update 9:43pm: OK, the N&O may be being too pessimistic in their read on the Price-Lawson race. Here's why.

First, Price got beat in Wake County, running behind Lawson by nearly 15%, and with a 19,000 vote or so gap by which he trails.

In. Wake. County. But the strength of Price's race is in the western part of the Triangle.

Price's lead in Durham? 25,000 votes. And that's with only 70% of precincts in. In Wake, 98% of precincts are in.

In Orange Co., with all precincts in, Price is up 18,000 votes.

Bottom line? The Price is right for re-election.

PS -- After we published this, we note that the AP has in fact called the NC 4th for Price.

Update 9:52pm: If Durham had a race for dogcatcher, Freda Black might win it, but I wouldn't bet on it. The ex-prosecutor followed her loss to Mike Nifong -- Nifong! -- for DA a few years back with what's looking like a loss to well-endorsed Doretta Walker for a District Court seat. Black (42%) trails Walker (58%) with eight-tenths of precincts in.

Pat Evans is cruising over Brian Aus, while Elaine Bushfan, Michael O'Foghludha, and Jim Hardin, Jr. look to be in good shape by far for Superior Court postings.

In General Assembly races, Democratic incumbents are cruising to two-to-one victory ratios in Durham. That's likely enough for everyone except Bob Atwater, whose state Senate hopes depend on how he does outside the county.


David McMullen

CNN just called NC-4 for Price. Wake County's results came very quickly, which made it look like Lawson was in the lead early on. But as Durham and Orange started to come in, Price moved ahead.

Kevin Davis

@David: Right there with you, and story updated with analysis. I was shocked by the NO pessimism on the race, should have looked at the raw data myself first.

Todd Patton

Although our local legislators managed a clean sweep for re-election, there's a bitter pill to go along with it. Democrats appear to have lost control of both the NC House and Senate. For the Senate, it would be the first time since 1898.

Our powerful local committee chairs may have just become backbenchers who are about to witness the most odious bunch of crap from the new GOP majority you can imagine.

Coming soon the the legislative agenda, nothing to help the average family. Just red meat - God, guns, gays, anti-abortion, anti-immigration, voter IDs, and tax cuts for the wealthy for a state with a $3 billion budget deficit. All the greatest legislative hits from Arizona and Texas and South Carolina will be coming to Raleigh.

And redistricting, too.


Hmmm, who did you say has been running things in this state since 1898, and what's the budget deficit - $3 billion? Now there's an "odious bunch of crap" for you.

Kevin Davis

@RWE - Democrats have been running the state for 100 years. In that time, NC has become a magnet for growth in the Southeast, attracting national banking, research and high-tech industries, thanks in recent decades to solid investment in infrastructure, higher education and sensible development. 

The economy in Florida -- built on a low-education, cheap workforce in service sector and tourism -- has tanked. Deep-red state Georgia has seen more bank failures than just about any other state outside, well, Florida. Mississippi and Alabama are busily decrying government bailouts on one hand, then handing over big bucks to get automakers to set up shop there. Really, when is the last time you knew anyone who moved to MS or AL because they wanted to?  And South Carolina is... well... South Carolina.

Seriously, if the Dems did such a horrible job with this state over the past century, why are we all here? And why is the economy in NC so much stronger than most of the rest of the South?

Mind you, there are forward thinking Republicans who might have pressed for RTP, or the growth of state universities... or, like Pat McCrory in CLT, a good transit system. Then again, having grown up in Florida and having watched good, middle-of-the-road GOPers from Bob Martinez to Mel Martinez to Charlie Crist get bounced and trounced, while a former CEO of a hospital company accused of massive Medicare frauds has a chance to win in Tallahassee.... you might understand if I am a bit skeptical.

The left and the right have both been guilty of poisoning our political discourse. But I am more worried about the pressure and threats coming from the American right today than the American left. I mean, the federal bailouts had bipartisan support, and in the case of TARP, likely saved us from a complete financial system collapse... and there are people out there who think it was a terrible idea. Really?  Even more confusing as the $700 billion program now has a net pricetag to taxpayers of $30 billion, which in the grand scheme of federal spending is next to nothing.


Hey RWE, you want to know what's odious? How about being denied your civil rights? How about having bigotry enshrined in the state constitution? Because that's what's going to happen with gay marriage. How about we force you to divorce your wife/husband or prohibit you from ever being married? How about we make your kids bastards and outcasts without the security and benefits of having one our both of their parents recognized by law? What about state elected officials calling you a "fruit loop"? After that, then come crying to me about an "odious" 3 billion dollar deficit. A**hole.


Hey Kevin, I got news for you: Florida is coming back. It has low taxes and a pro-growth philosophy that is very similar to Texas, another giant jobs magnet. Sure they got carried away with the real estate bubble; Dallas did, too. But they're both being bought up at a discount by global investors such as myself (I recently bought the corner of Pacific & Olive St. near Deep Ellum).

NC has the highest taxes in the South, and while there's no chance we'll become Detroit, Michigan...we could have been Atlanta, Georgia. I know plenty of Wall St / BofA refugees who've moved to SC even though they work in Charlotte, for example, and plenty of other NYers and NCers who declare their residence in Fla. to minimise their costs.

The great thing is that no matter what happens to the Triangle, Durham will always remain that gritty piece of sand in the bowl of cheese grits that is Raleigh / Cary / Ch Hill / RTP. We can thank Jackie Wagstaff, Dr. Allison and the Committee, and all the cheapskate hipsters for that good fortune. Keep Durham Different.

Erik Landfried

Are you saying the Triangle should've followed Atlanta's growth model? I just want to make sure I'm reading that correctly.


There's plenty wrong with Atlanta, but they have mass transit and smart growth with respect to traffic management (e.g., tolls on the GA 400 to Dunwoody and the high rent suburbs). I also like how Forsyth and the other counties have retained their autonomy, while coordinating regional growth policies where needed.

NC has a much stronger state govt than GA, which is why for example Durham keeps getting shafted on the East End Connector and the Duke/Gregson speedway. The old state roads that run through the western residential zones of Buckhead, by contrast, have been tamed.


Wait- I can't let this go-
Are you claiming Forsyth and North Fulton (sorry, "Milton County") and the rest have coordinated their growth? I lived there for 10 years, and go back there a lot, and the lack of regional/metro planning amongst the many counties of the ATL metro area tops the list of the many massive dysfunctions in that city.

If Durham ever becomes like Atlanta or Dallas I will be the first to leave.


"If Durham ever becomes like Atlanta or Dallas I will be the first to leave. "

after 10 years in the ATL, and 10 years here, all I can say is....ditto!


I lived in both places as well -- they're not for everyone, but as Kevin says you can't stop progress. 20 years ago Atlanta looked like Charlotte does now (I lived in Myers Park, which is the Buckhead of CLT), and Charlotte looked like the Raleigh of today. Population growth is inevitable; the question is how to manage it, and quite frankly neither Dems or Repubs have good answers.

Of the four cities in this region, Raleigh is the most likely to become "like Atlanta or Dallas", and undoubtedly many of us will have left by then. Durham will either become like CH / Carrboro (mostly white hipsters and yuppies), or like East Palo Alto. Which is more desirable is an exercise best left to the reader.


Atlanta's strengths are mostly Economic Development and Logistics related. It has taken advantage of cross-section of Interstate highways as well as railroads that come through the area. And then there is always Hartsfield-Jackson Int.

Smart Growth??? The ATL's biggest booster won't claim that one or Regional Cooperation. Marta is still funded by two counties (Dekalb/ Fulton) out of about 20 in the Metro area.

The state government has all but scuttled every attempt at expansion of their transit expansion plans.

I will say that the decisions that we make today will determine whether the Triangle (Durham, Raleigh and others all inclusive because this ONE metro region economically) becomes like Cleveland/Detroit or Dallas/Atlanta. I hope we become a model for others personally.


@ BCR-

I wasn't criticizing the State of North Carolina or the many achievements made here over the last thirty years or so, but I see more than a little irony in lamenting over how badly Republicans will screw things up when we already have a budget deficit that is among the worst in the nation. Neither party has a monopoly on good ideas or good government, and I guarantee you that none of the things you mentioned happened without constructive dialog and compromise among people from the entire political spectrum.

Both parties got us into this mess, and it will take them both working together to get us out. The unfortunate reality is much more likely to be two more years of bickering and posturing for the 2012 elections, and getting nothing of consequence done while Rome continues to burn.

Fretting that a Republican majority is going to unravel our civil rights is ridiculous and ignorant. I'm tired of the labeling and name calling that has become so pervasive in any political discussion (thanks to Gaylib for another example). Are all conservatives homophobic racist zealots? Are all liberals godless socialists? Guess what - There are wackos to the far left and the far right, and most of us are somewhere in a broad middle on most issues.

The economy is in big trouble, and we (especially our children) are all screwed unless we stop listening to divisive A-Holes like Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olberman, and start actually working together to solve issues that matter.


@RWE: I hope you'll come eat crow when the new republican majority proposes (and possibly passes) its anti-civil-rights-for-gay people Defense of Marriage act. I'm guessing you're straight--its easy for you to blow off gaylibs point b/c you take for granted a plethora of civil rights & privileges that gay people are denied.



Hardly worth a response, but I can't resist. I made a one sentence comment about the sorry state of our state government's finances, and have somehow been immediately written off as an ignorant homophobe.

I certainly don't take anyone's civil rights for granted, nor do I assign categories to people I don't know based on a sentence they wrote on a blog. I guess it's impossible for me to imagine what life might be like in your shoes, but you have me all figured out.


I'm with RWE on this -- well said -- and not only am I a Democrat, I volunteered for the party during the last three Presidential elections. I'm disgusted with them now, and the Republicans as well, for the very reasons RWE mentions.

BTW: We are idiots to see the other party as the enemy -- that's all just a smoke screen to keep us busy while special interests buy our government lock, stock and policy.


RWE, not so sure about the homophobic part, but ignorant you are if you don't think that the NC marriage amendment isn't coming. And it is your ingornance and apathy that costs us our civil rights, so I stick by my comment. In fact you've proven to be an even bigger asshole than first presumed.


@RWE: I was replying to your comment: Fretting that a Republican majority is going to unravel our civil rights is ridiculous and ignorant. I'm as frustrated by the state of political discourse, paralysis, and selling government lock-stock-and-barrel to special interests as anyone. And it extends to both sides of the aisle. But I also agree w/gaylib on the civil rights for gays issues. They aren't going to unravel our civil rights--the full equality and civil rights of gays and lesbians do not currently exist. What is likely to happen, as gaylib points out, is that our status as second-class citizens will become a matter of constitutional law--or will be put up for a vote--as if equality & civil rights for all American citizens is determined at the ballot box.

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