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Party as a whole maintained its super-majority control in both chambers, making it very unlikely that HB 2 will be repealed despite Roy Cooper’s victory.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

Photo credit: Mr. TinDC via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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

Is Believing There Are Only Two Genders “Antiquated”? This Columnist Thinks So…

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Apparently, if you’re from North Carolina and believe that there are only two genders — male and female, just to clarify — then you’re an “antiquated” bigot who is potentially costing your neighbors jobs and economic opportunity in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

At least, that’s according to Forbes.com columnist Corinne Jurney.

That’s right. If you reject the newest junk science which asserts there are 58 genders (why limit it to just 58?), then you’re the equivalent of racists and segregationists in the 50’s and 60’s.

Of course, this is absurd and untrue.

Beyond the obnoxious assertion that we should give up on reality, truth, and morality simply because corporate America has decided what values and beliefs are tolerable and intolerable (quite interesting especially coming from the left, which has consistently claimed that corporate America is evil in all aspects), it’s laughable that this passes as a compelling argument.

Just look at how confidently Jurney asserts the new gender theory as fact:

The law requires citizens to use the public facility that corresponds with their ‘biological’ gender. This edict aligns with the antiquated idea that gender is a binary construct, inherently marginalizing transgender people. The Justice Department has sued the state to overturn the law.

Jurney actually put the word “biological” in scare quotes, number one.

Number two, she asserts the idea that there are only two genders is “antiquated.”

So the approximately billion-year-old “idea” that men are men and women are women is antiquated because the LGBT lobby says so. Continue Reading

For Trump’s Path to 270, It All Comes Down to One State

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Last Friday, The Pulse 2016’s Frank Cannon and Jon Schweppe laid out the most likely path to 270 electoral votes for Donald Trump, arguing that if he were to win all the closest toss-up states at that time, he would need only one more state to go his way in order to overtake Hillary Clinton.

After a week, it looks like the final piece of the puzzle for Trump may be New Hampshire. New polling in the Granite State has been very favorable to Republicans, and the RealClearPolitics average now has Trump leading by 1.5 points with just four days to go.

However, a Trump victory is still far from certain, given how close the race remains in several battleground states. The RCP polling averages in four states (and Maine’s 2nd congressional district) are currently within two points:

In order for Trump to reach 270, he must win each of these states and ME-2 — or else he must win another one or more states where Clinton’s polling lead is more robust. It’s a tall order, though far from an impossibility.

However, of the above states, one holds a place of particular importance if Trump hopes to pull out a win on Tuesday: Florida. And it’s not just because he is slightly behind in the polling right now. Continue Reading

Six Days Left: Trump Has a Lot of Outs

When poker players are drawing to a straight or a flush, they will often talk about having a certain number of “outs” — i.e. how many cards are left in the deck that can make their hand, allowing them to win the pot.

Donald Trump doesn’t have a winning hand yet, but he has a lot of outs.

Last Thursday night, we wrote at Townhall about Donald Trump’s easier-than-you-think path to 270 electoral votes. We explained that Trump could get to 265 by winning Utah, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina. At the time, this still seemed like a somewhat daunting task, albeit one that was within the realm of possibility.

But now? Well, Trump’s lot has improved significantly in these states since Thursday night, as Hillary Clinton’s lead appears to be fading fast:

Utah

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +5.8%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +6.0%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +0.2%

Georgia

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +2.8%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +5.7%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.9%

Iowa

Ohio

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +1.1%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +3.3%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.2%

Arizona

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +1.5%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +3.0%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +4.5%

Florida

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +1.6%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +0.7%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.1%

Nevada

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +2.0%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +1.6%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +3.6%

North Carolina

Obviously, these states are still too close to call, but Trump now is tied or enjoys small leads in all eight of them. 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

Poll: N.C. Voters Say They Oppose HB 2, But Support What It Actually Does

Photo credit: Mr. TinDC via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Given the seemingly endless barrage of negative media coverage which has been aimed at North Carolina’s House Bill 2, including moves by corporations, sports entities, and celebrities to punish the state, it’s no surprise that the name “HB 2” has been tainted in the eyes of many voters. Just the latest evidence of this came in a recent Charlotte Observer poll, which showed 55 percent of North Carolinians want HB 2 to be repealed, versus 32 percent who support it.

However, when the Observer asked voters how they felt about the bill’s primary goal — namely, preventing any person from using any bathroom, locker room, or shower based on their claimed “gender identity” — the responses were much different:

Support remains for one of the bill’s key provisions – overturning a Charlotte ordinance that let transgender people use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. Nearly half the voters agreed the policy could lead to sexual predators attacking victims in bathrooms, while 42 percent disagreed.

This is reminiscent of a similar North Carolina poll conducted by Civitas earlier last month. When voters in that poll were asked simply whether they supported or opposed House Bill 2, opposition prevailed 55 percent to 37 percent. But when those polled were given a full description of the legislation’s goals, as well as a description of the Charlotte Ordinance it overturned, their responses flipped, with 49 percent saying they thought HB 2 sounded more fair versus 35 percent who did not. Continue Reading