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I don't usually make predictions on elections this far in advance, but I will in this case.

I think the RNC will pick a woman to back in North Carolina's Hagan Senate race, and the most likely suspect is Congresswoman Renee Ellmers. She is not much of a Congresswoman, but she is a better candidate to appeal to moderates than any of the legislative leaders. All of them are tainted by the low regard of the NC General Assembly among NC voters.

For those of you who do not already know, North Carolina has become the "new Wisconsin," as our notorious legislature has practiced big government encroachment on all kinds of local issues, including taking the Charlotte airport and the Asheville water supply.  The list of interference in local government even extends to local school systems like Wake County's public school system.

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Ellmers has been a good foot soldier in the US House, and she does what she is told by House leaders. If Ellmers wins the 2014 Republican Senate primary, which I think she will, she will be competitive. I am a fan of Kay Hagan, and I don't underestimate her appeal; but it is hard to fight all that anonymous money that will flood into state for GOP in 2014.

To quote a friend:  "Renee Ellmers--sort of another Sarah Palin, but with an even lower IQ. Makes sense! She can see Raleigh from her back porch!"
I think one reason the NC Democrats got shellacked (to use Obama's word) in 2010, was in part overconfidence and lack of preparing for the opposition.

I am cautiously optimistic about Hagan's prospects in 2014, but I am only optimistic if Randy Voller and the NC Democratic Party get their act together in fundraising and grassroots organizing to turn out the vote. Issues matter, but feet on the ground and headed to the polls matter, too.

If I were one of those highly paid consultants everyone listens to (and I am not), I would concentrate on local issues where the GOP has pissed off voters repeatedly. The airport in Charlotte, the water supply first in Asheville and now all over, the environmental rules on Jordan Lake, changes to annexation rules.

People who vote will split on abortion and other social issues, but they need to be repeatedly reminded of the overreach of the legislators in Raleigh.  All politics is local.  The old adage has never applied more than now in North Carolina.

Wed Jul 17, 2013 at  4:34 PM PT: “North Carolinians continue to be closely divided on Kay Hagan,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “But she’ll get a break if she can run against the leadership of an extremely unpopular GOP legislature.” - See more at: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/...

Tue Jul 30, 2013 at  3:16 PM PT: U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers will not run for Senate; she will run for re-election to the U.S. House, according to several media sources including WRAL TV.  Ellmers had hinted at a possible run in 2014, and she met with RNC representatives in Raleigh recently according to the Raleigh N &O.
from Twitter:  Tim Boyum ‏@BoyumNews14

Ellmers mentions multiple times how Republicans need to do a better job reaching out to women #ncpol #ncga

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Originally posted to Justice and Hope on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE and Community Spotlight.

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