McCrory May Have Lost in North Carolina, But HB 2 Didn’t

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Frank argued quite persuasively last week that it wasn’t House Bill 2 itself that doomed North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCrory in his reelection bid, but rather the overwhelming negative publicity dumped on the state by the left-leaning media and corporate-entertainment-sports complex.

But while Democrats and their allies were busy outspending McCrory in the governor’s race by nearly $8 million, Republicans continued to rack up victories in the state legislature. In fact, of the 89 GOP state legislators running for reelection who voted for HB 2, only two lost their seats to Democrats. And the Republican Party as a whole maintained its super-majority control in both chambers, making it very unlikely that HB 2 will be repealed despite Roy Cooper’s victory.

So, to recap: after spending millions of dollars and creating a fake economic crisis in North Carolina, the Left was able — just barely — to unseat Gov. McCrory while still losing seats overall in the state legislature, all but guaranteeing that the object of their hatred, HB 2, won’t be going anywhere. That doesn’t seem like much of a win to me.

Terry Schilling is the executive director of American Principles Project. Continue Reading

McCrory Didn’t Lose Because HB 2 Was a “Social Issue”

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (photo credit: NCDOTcommunications via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Today, North Carolina’s Republican Gov. Pat McCrory announced he would be conceding the state’s gubernatorial race to Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper, bringing an end to several weeks of recounts and investigations into alleged cases of voter fraud.

Despite his defeat, conservatives should applaud Gov. Pat McCrory for standing up for what is right. He refused to back down from corporate bullies and progressive lynch mobs, and because of his steadfastness, he became Public Enemy Number Two this election cycle for the Left. Ultimately, they got their scalp only by the narrowest of margins.

While McCrory’s defeat is disappointing, there are several positives to take away from the North Carolina governor’s race for conservatives:

1.) McCrory came very close to winning despite being outspent by nearly $8 million. He was less than 10,000 votes away from withstanding an outright blitzkrieg of hate from corporate America, the sports-entertainment complex, and Hollywood celebrities.

2.) Make no mistake, the Left recognized that they couldn’t defend Charlotte’s radical ordinance on its merits. Instead, they turned HB 2 into an economic issue by convincing elite corporations, sports leagues, and celebrities to punish the state of North Carolina for protecting the privacy of young girls. This branding effort, which focused on the consequences of keeping HB 2 amidst blackmail from corporate and entertainment elites, created a phenomenon where HB 2 became toxic to a majority of voters, while voters still supported the substance of HB 2. Continue Reading

Ignore the Spin: Liberal Bullies Failed in North Carolina

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The spin has begun from the results of the North Carolina governor’s race. Even as the votes are still being counted, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is suggesting that Governor Pat McCrory’s tight re-election race should warn Georgia officials against pursuing religious-freedom legislation in the 2017 session. This conclusion, though entirely predictable coming from the AJC, isn’t supported by the facts.

McCrory catapulted into the national spotlight last spring by signing a bill protecting the privacy of women and girls in taxpayer-funded restrooms. This thoroughly unremarkable action provoked the rage of wealthy radical interests from outside the state, who vowed to pull out all stops to defeat him in his re-election bid.

McCrory currently trails challenger Roy Cooper by a paper-thin margin, a few thousand votes, after 70,000 votes belatedly appeared from liberal Durham County. (The media had predicted McCrory would lose by several percentage points. Oops.) Results won’t be known until all provisional, military, and absentee ballots are counted, and there are more than enough votes there to erase Cooper’s tiny lead. But regardless of which way the election tilts, there is no basis for claims that McCrory’s action to protect privacy either hurt the state or violated the wishes of North Carolinians.

Despite the propaganda, North Carolina’s economy is humming along quite nicely. The state has welcomed dozens of new companies even since the privacy controversy erupted in the spring of 2016. In fact, other than PayPal, pretty much the only enterprises that have chosen to punish the state for exercising common sense are taxpayer-funded sports events, aging musicians, and leftist Hollywood types looking to make a political statement. Continue Reading

Top Five States to Watch Tonight

From left: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

With just a few hours now separating us from the first election results, here are the five states I’m watching most closely tonight:

1.) North Carolina

Obviously, North Carolina is a key swing state in the presidential race, which is likely to be very close, but I’m even more interested in the results of the gubernatorial race between Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and Democrat Roy Cooper.

We’ve been talking about this race for months. McCrory has been under fire from a coalition of radical progressives, corporate bullies, and special interests for his support for HB 2, a bill that stopped an effort in Charlotte to redefine gender and give grown men the right to shower and access changing areas with young girls in public facilities.

The fate of HB 2 — and our best line of defense in the progressive war on gender — rests completely on the results of this race.

2.) New Jersey

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) is a strong conservative representative in New Jersey who came under fire for criticizing the NRCC for financially supporting Republican candidates who support same-sex marriage. Millions of dollars from outside special interest groups have since poured into New Jersey’s 5th congressional district to defeat Garrett in his race against special interest lobbyist Josh Gottheimer. With the NRCC declining to help Garrett at all, and with only a small coalition of conservatives refusing to abandon him, there’s no doubt he’s an underdog heading into tonight. Continue Reading

Poll: Trump Takes a Six-Point Lead in N.C., McCrory within One Point

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

North Carolina offers a great glimpse into trends in the battleground states this election. A WRAL poll by SurveyUSA taken after the FBI scandal broke shows Donald Trump has suddenly jumped to a six-point lead. Almost a third of North Carolina voters chose “trustworthiness” as their most important quality in picking a president, and they are breaking for Trump by 83 percent. He’s also cut the gender gap with women from 13 points down to 7 points while upping his gender gap among men from 9 points to an astonishing 23 points.

But the FBI scandal — blown up YUGE by her decision to attack the FBI for doing its job — is not Hillary Clinton’s only problem, although the media is focusing on that story. On health care, an issue that in early October favored Clinton by 39 points, Trump has cut her lead down to 13 points. The huge leap in Obamacare premiums is clearly hurting voters in their pocketbook — and, by extension, Clinton’s election numbers.

Meanwhile, the same poll shows Gov. Pat McCrory virtually neck and neck with Roy Cooper, 47 percent to 48 percent.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

New Poll: Is Trump Likely to Win North Carolina?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The new Elon University poll may have bad news for Hillary Clinton: With just a week to go, she and Donald Trump are in a virtual dead heat, 42 percent to 41 percent, with 9 percent of North Carolina voters still undecided. But when pressed, the undecideds favor Trump 27 percent to 18 percent.

Meanwhile despite massive spending against him by the LGBT lobby, among others, including a series of video ads from Lennie and Pearl, the new poll shows Gov. Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper are dead even at 44 percent apiece. Cooper and McCrory are both holding their own party members (89 percent and 91 percent, respectively) while independents are tilting to McCrory, 54 percent to 46 percent.

Sen. Richard Burr has pulled out a  slim lead over Democratic challenger Deborah Ross, 43.5 percent to 40 percent.

Meanwhile, the RealClearPolitics average has Clinton up by 2 points, Cooper up by 3 points, and Burr up by 0.8 points.

It’s coming down to the wire on this one.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

New Polls: Gov. McCrory Continues Comeback, Draws Even in N.C.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (photo credit: NCDOTcommunications via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Maggie noted last week that North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory appeared to be on the comeback trail, against all odds and despite the powerful corporate/entertainment interests working against him. Now, two new polls released today confirm the race has indeed tightened.

Public Policy Polling shows Democrat Roy Cooper leading McCrory by just two points, 46 percent to 44 percent. That’s well within the margin of error and a five-point gain for McCrory since PPP’s poll last month. Monmouth, meanwhile, shows McCrory with a one-point lead over Cooper, a 10-point swing since its last poll two months ago.

RealClearPolitics’ average now shows a virtually tied race. But with two weeks left in the campaign, the momentum clearly belongs to McCrory.

Paul Dupont is the managing editor for ThePulse2016.com. Continue Reading

The Rise of the Big Business Democrats

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There was a time, not long ago, when Democrats commonly accused the Republican Party of being the “Party of Big Business.” Republicans, or so it was claimed, cared more about corporate interests than those of the average voter, while Democrats were supposedly looking out for the little guy.

During this election season, however, there has been a substantial — and yet barely noticed — change in Democratic rhetoric. Rather than vilifying big businesses, many Democratic leaders and candidates have started to openly trumpet their high regard for the priorities of the corporate world.

Why this sudden change? Because Big Business has finally gotten on the “Right Side of History”TM — in other words, the progressive side.

Just consider a few recent examples.

In Indiana earlier this week, John Gregg, the Democratic candidate for governor, was asked in an interview to discuss LGBT rights issues in light of the recent controversy over the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In defending his support for the LGBT agenda, Gregg framed it as “an economic issue” and went on to explain how high a priority it is for business:

It’s a top five issue in the Chamber of Commerce. I’ve heard it in Eli Lilly’s executive suite. I’ve heard it in Hillenbrand’s executive suite, who’s another one of our major corporate citizens. I’ve heard it in Salesforce’s executive suites. We have to do that….

Or consider the case in Louisiana, where the state’s attorney general announced yesterday he would be pursuing a legal challenge to Governor John Bel Edwards’ attempt to unilaterally change state anti-discrimination law, charging that the governor surpassed his constitutional authority. Continue Reading

New Polls: N.C.’s Pat McCrory Surges to Within One Point

A stellar performance during Hurricane Matthew and during the first debate appears to have catapulted North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCrory to within one point of Democrat Roy Cooper. The latest polling average has Cooper leading 46.5 percent to 43.5 percent.

The celebrity/sports/corporate world continues to hammer McCrory, the latest example being a full page ad run on McCrory’s birthday signed by local writers:

If he wins, he is going to wrest away Bill Clinton’s title of Comeback Kid.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

WATCH: N.C. Gov. McCrory Trounces Cooper in HB 2 Debate

The consensus seems to be that Gov. Pat McCrory did a much better job in this week’s North Carolina debate than the robotically-programmed, soundbite-stuffed Roy Cooper. Here’s one exchange over HB 2:

MODERATOR: As you know, since its passage businesses have cancelled plans to expand in the state. NBA, ACC, the NCAA, have all moved events from here. Duke basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, even called the law embarrassing. The majority of voters, even ones who support it, believe it’s hurt the state’s reputation. How do you fix the state’s reputation without repealing the law?

MCCRORY: Let’s first state the facts. The thing that’s embarrassing is that a very liberal mayor of Charlotte with very strong support from our very liberal attorney general started this whole bathroom mess. It’s one of the biggest fibs in our national press, and frankly, our state press which they say that the bathrooms laws were made by Republicans. We had never brought this issue up; it was the mayor of Charlotte with strong support from the attorney general who decided to put a mandate on the entire private sector who had public facilities and say, ‘we are going to fine you unless you recognize a brand new concept of gender identity and gender expression’ — a major change in culture, and not just in North Carolina but in our country.

It wasn’t needed; it wasn’t called for; it was the liberals who brought this issue up. But as governor I will say this: I don’t care if you are in the private sector what your bathroom, locker room, shower rooms should be.

Continue Reading