North Carolina

  1. Story by John Howell Jr. for The Daily Tar Heel
Public schools, universities and community colleges across North Carolina are investigating ways to reward better performing schools — but administrators say the economy continues to be a roadblock on the path to reform.
All three layers of North Carolina’s education system have looked into models that provide incentives for improved student performance and graduation rates, but no formal proposals have been adopted.
The push for accountability comes at a time of scarce resources for the state. Each school system has absorbed millions in state funding cuts in recent years, including a $414 million reduction for the UNC system in 2011-12.
In this year’s gubernatorial race, both Republican candidate Pat McCrory and Democrat Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton have expressed support for performance-based funding, though their platforms differ on how the programs would be implemented.
Read the full story on dailytarheel.com

    Story by John Howell Jr. for The Daily Tar Heel

    Public schools, universities and community colleges across North Carolina are investigating ways to reward better performing schools — but administrators say the economy continues to be a roadblock on the path to reform.

    All three layers of North Carolina’s education system have looked into models that provide incentives for improved student performance and graduation rates, but no formal proposals have been adopted.

    The push for accountability comes at a time of scarce resources for the state. Each school system has absorbed millions in state funding cuts in recent years, including a $414 million reduction for the UNC system in 2011-12.

    In this year’s gubernatorial race, both Republican candidate Pat McCrory and Democrat Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton have expressed support for performance-based funding, though their platforms differ on how the programs would be implemented.

    Read the full story on dailytarheel.com

    dailytarheel.com »

  2. Obama, Romney campaigns invest millions in Triangle TV ads
Story by Erika Keil and Graphics by Kevin Uhrmacher, Meredith Burns, Bailey Seitter, Matt Evangelisto, Nikki Gauthreaux and Allie Knowles for The Daily Tar Heel
“It’s time to put Americans back to work.”
“Everyone deserves a fair shot.”
Do these slogans sound familiar? That’s no mistake.
Since August, the North Carolina region known as the Triangle has been flooded with almost $7 million in television ads from both Democratic and Republican campaigns and super PACs, according to an analysis of ad records from the region’s largest television networks — WRAL, FOX-50, NBC-17 and ABC-11 — by The Daily Tar Heel.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and outside groups supporting him have pumped more than $34 million into the state since the week of March 19 — compared to about $22 million spent by President Barack Obama and allied groups, according to a national analysis by SMG Delta, an ad-tracking firm.
North Carolina ranks fourth among states in total presidential campaign advertising spending. It trails only Florida, Ohio and Virginia, respectively.
“At the end of the day, this will be the most expensive election in history,” said Francis De Luca, president of the right-leaning Civitas Institute.
After Obama narrowly won the state by about 14,000 votes in 2008, state polls have indicated that North Carolina will likely be a battleground state again in this November’s election.
Romney leads Obama by an average margin of 0.8 percentage points in a variety of state polls — a virtual tie given the polls’ margins of error of between 3.1 and 4.5 percent — according to Real Clear Politics.
But the clearest indicator of the state’s battleground status might be both campaigns’ ad spending.
Read the full story here. 

    Obama, Romney campaigns invest millions in Triangle TV ads

    Story by Erika Keil and Graphics by Kevin Uhrmacher, Meredith Burns, Bailey Seitter, Matt Evangelisto, Nikki Gauthreaux and Allie Knowles for The Daily Tar Heel

    “It’s time to put Americans back to work.”

    “Everyone deserves a fair shot.”

    Do these slogans sound familiar? That’s no mistake.

    Since August, the North Carolina region known as the Triangle has been flooded with almost $7 million in television ads from both Democratic and Republican campaigns and super PACs, according to an analysis of ad records from the region’s largest television networks — WRAL, FOX-50, NBC-17 and ABC-11 — by The Daily Tar Heel.

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and outside groups supporting him have pumped more than $34 million into the state since the week of March 19 — compared to about $22 million spent by President Barack Obama and allied groups, according to a national analysis by SMG Delta, an ad-tracking firm.

    North Carolina ranks fourth among states in total presidential campaign advertising spending. It trails only Florida, Ohio and Virginia, respectively.

    “At the end of the day, this will be the most expensive election in history,” said Francis De Luca, president of the right-leaning Civitas Institute.

    After Obama narrowly won the state by about 14,000 votes in 2008, state polls have indicated that North Carolina will likely be a battleground state again in this November’s election.

    Romney leads Obama by an average margin of 0.8 percentage points in a variety of state polls — a virtual tie given the polls’ margins of error of between 3.1 and 4.5 percent — according to Real Clear Politics.

    But the clearest indicator of the state’s battleground status might be both campaigns’ ad spending.

    Read the full story here

    dailytarheel.com »

  3. Youth vote needs rekindling
Photo by Molly Cogburn, Story by Claire Bennett of the Daily Tar Heel
At President Barack Obama’s political rallies, supporters have been known to shout, “Fired up! Ready to go!”
But one of Obama’s key demographics that supported his victory in 2008 — youth voters — might not be so fired up this time around.
Young voters’ enthusiasm on college campuses helped spur Obama to victory in North Carolina, which he won by about 14,000 votes in 2008.
Yet compared to the 2008 election, the UNC campus isn’t looking as patriotic as it did four years ago, said Erin Sanderson, a 2012 UNCgraduate.
“There was a lot going on in 2008 — a lot of red, white and blue,” she said.
And the amount of campaign rallying on campus was borderline overwhelming, she recalled.
“I almost felt harassed. You couldn’t walk through the Pit without being stopped three times for voter registration,” Sanderson said.
Gabby Whitehall, co-founder of Tar Heels for Obama, said her feelings have not changed since the 2008 election, but she has seen some dwindling some of her peers’ excitement.
While more than 80 people attended the group’s Democratic National Convention watch party and the rooms are full at meetings, Whitehall said she has had difficulty rallying students to participate in voter outreach activities, like door-to-door canvassing and voter registration.
“What can be difficult is actually getting people out there and doing the hard stuff,” she said.
Some political analysts attribute less enthusiasm on campuses to disenchantment with the political system as a whole.
Sarah Treul, a UNC political science professor who specializes in American political institutions, said there was far more excitement on campus in the months preceding the 2008 election.
She said the general lack of enthusiasm for the 2012 election has more to do with an increasing apathy toward politics in general, rather than dissatisfaction with either candidate.
Young voters might have become overly optimistic due to much of the hopeful rhetoric of 2008, she said. Obama’s message resonated with students who believed that politics could be different.
“Four years later, I think a lot of students realize that even despite the ‘hope and change’ message, much in politics remains the same from election to election,” she said in an email.
While there might be less excitement surrounding Obama’s campaign on campuses this year, college Republicans say they’ve seen an uptick in support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney compared to his predecessor.
“Young voters are turning out significantly more so for Romney than (John) McCain,” said Kenan Drum, president of UNC for Romney.
“Voters are both unhappy with the current situation and the solutions that President Obama has offered.”
Drum said there’s been an increased number of Republican students willing to knock on doors, register voters and participate in phone banks in Chapel Hill.
Although the lack of fervent support for Obama’s campaign might worry some younger Democrats, Whitehall said it’s natural for a sitting president to experience less buzz surrounding a reelection campaign.
“Everyone knows the president and his policies and there is no need for (the 2008 levels of excitement) in 2012, but that doesn’t signify a lack of enthusiasm or support among voters,” she said.
“This happens to every incumbent.”
Despite mixed levels of enthusiasm, both campaigns will continue to reach out to young voters and rally support on campuses across the country through events like debate watch parties for the Nov. 6 election.
The presidential debates will commence Wednesday evening, with the first one being held at the University of Denver in Colorado.

    Youth vote needs rekindling

    Photo by Molly Cogburn, Story by Claire Bennett of the Daily Tar Heel

    At President Barack Obama’s political rallies, supporters have been known to shout, “Fired up! Ready to go!”

    But one of Obama’s key demographics that supported his victory in 2008 — youth voters — might not be so fired up this time around.

    Young voters’ enthusiasm on college campuses helped spur Obama to victory in North Carolina, which he won by about 14,000 votes in 2008.

    Yet compared to the 2008 election, the UNC campus isn’t looking as patriotic as it did four years ago, said Erin Sanderson, a 2012 UNCgraduate.

    “There was a lot going on in 2008 — a lot of red, white and blue,” she said.

    And the amount of campaign rallying on campus was borderline overwhelming, she recalled.

    “I almost felt harassed. You couldn’t walk through the Pit without being stopped three times for voter registration,” Sanderson said.

    Gabby Whitehall, co-founder of Tar Heels for Obama, said her feelings have not changed since the 2008 election, but she has seen some dwindling some of her peers’ excitement.

    While more than 80 people attended the group’s Democratic National Convention watch party and the rooms are full at meetings, Whitehall said she has had difficulty rallying students to participate in voter outreach activities, like door-to-door canvassing and voter registration.

    “What can be difficult is actually getting people out there and doing the hard stuff,” she said.

    Some political analysts attribute less enthusiasm on campuses to disenchantment with the political system as a whole.

    Sarah Treul, a UNC political science professor who specializes in American political institutions, said there was far more excitement on campus in the months preceding the 2008 election.

    She said the general lack of enthusiasm for the 2012 election has more to do with an increasing apathy toward politics in general, rather than dissatisfaction with either candidate.

    Young voters might have become overly optimistic due to much of the hopeful rhetoric of 2008, she said. Obama’s message resonated with students who believed that politics could be different.

    “Four years later, I think a lot of students realize that even despite the ‘hope and change’ message, much in politics remains the same from election to election,” she said in an email.

    While there might be less excitement surrounding Obama’s campaign on campuses this year, college Republicans say they’ve seen an uptick in support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney compared to his predecessor.

    “Young voters are turning out significantly more so for Romney than (John) McCain,” said Kenan Drum, president of UNC for Romney.

    “Voters are both unhappy with the current situation and the solutions that President Obama has offered.”

    Drum said there’s been an increased number of Republican students willing to knock on doors, register voters and participate in phone banks in Chapel Hill.

    Although the lack of fervent support for Obama’s campaign might worry some younger Democrats, Whitehall said it’s natural for a sitting president to experience less buzz surrounding a reelection campaign.

    “Everyone knows the president and his policies and there is no need for (the 2008 levels of excitement) in 2012, but that doesn’t signify a lack of enthusiasm or support among voters,” she said.

    “This happens to every incumbent.”

    Despite mixed levels of enthusiasm, both campaigns will continue to reach out to young voters and rally support on campuses across the country through events like debate watch parties for the Nov. 6 election.

    The presidential debates will commence Wednesday evening, with the first one being held at the University of Denver in Colorado.

    dailytarheel.com »

  4. According to a News & Observer interactive by Bob Brueckner and David Raynor, Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory raised a total of $9 million between Jan. 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, in their gubernatorial campaign. 
See how individual contributions vary between counties by clicking the image above.

    According to a News & Observer interactive by Bob Brueckner and David Raynor, Democrat Walter Dalton and Republican Pat McCrory raised a total of $9 million between Jan. 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, in their gubernatorial campaign.

    See how individual contributions vary between counties by clicking the image above.

    newsobserver.com »

  5. From the Raleigh News-Observer:

    Mitt Romney has responded to his now infamous "47 percent" remarks  with a new minute-long TV ad running in North Carolina.

    Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is running a TV ad that plays off Romney’s comment to show him as dismissing Americans who work for their money, and according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, a majority of Americans still view Romney’s comments unfavorably.

    projects.newsobserver.com »

  6. Barack Obama released a new ad today in key swing states Virginia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Iowa and Nevada. The ad, titled “Fair Share,” addressed Mitt Romney’s comments about the 47 percent of Americans he claimed “are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”

  7. From NewsObserver.com:

    In the latter half of the 20th century, North Carolina rose above much of the South, becoming a beacon of educational and economic opportunity that fueled new prosperity in a traditionally poor, agrarian state.

    Now, as North Carolina slowly wakes up from the Great Recession, unemployment is stubbornly high at 9.6 percent, income levels are down and the poverty rate has spiked since 2000. Some are asking the inevitable question: Have we slipped?

    The debate is under way in every corner of the state as election season builds to a conclusion. It is central in the campaign for governor.

    newsobserver.com »

  8. Michelle Obama portrays president from personal angle
Photo by Elizabeth Mendoza, Story by Vinayak Balasubramanian for the Daily Tar Heel
DURHAM, N.C. — Thousands of enthusiastic students and local residents gathered Wednesday at N.C. Central University to hear Michelle Obama make the case for her husband’s re-election.
Despite the political undertones in her speech, the first lady sought to portray President Obama from a personal angle — echoing a theme from her Sept. 4 speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
As many as 3,100 people gathered in the McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium at NCCU, filling it to capacity.
The event — which was sponsored by Obama for America — was one of two speeches that the first lady gave to students on Wednesday. Obama later spoke at East Carolina University.
Obama told attendees of the personal struggles and moral lessons she and the president faced growing up, what motivated them and how this has influenced the president’s world view.
“Like so many families in this country, our families weren’t asking for much. They didn’t begrudge anyone else’s success,” she said.
“They simply believed in that fundamental American promise that even if you don’t start out with much, if you work hard and do what you’re supposed to do, then you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids,” Obama said.
The first lady also reminded audience members of the struggles she and the president faced in paying for college.
“When it comes to student debt, believe me, Barack and I, we’ve been there,” she said. “He never could have attended college without financial aid.”
Speaking before Obama, U.S. Rep. David Price, D-N.C., mentioned to students that the president’s higher education policies helped pay for about 16,000 N.C. veterans and 250,000 N.C. students to attend college.
The speech received a positive reaction from the audience, many of whom said they were moved.
Jacqueline Futrell, an adult basic education teacher at Durham Technical Community College, personally accompanied one of her deaf students to the event.
“I told her that since she was able to get a ticket, that I would personally bring her with me, to make sure that the interpreters were here and everything, so that she could also enjoy hearing Mrs. Obama as well,” she said.
Tania Irwin, a sophomore education major at NCCU, said she nearly cried when she got to shake the first lady’s hand.
“She is my idol, and I was just so inspired by her words.”

    Michelle Obama portrays president from personal angle

    Photo by Elizabeth Mendoza, Story by Vinayak Balasubramanian for the Daily Tar Heel

    DURHAM, N.C. — Thousands of enthusiastic students and local residents gathered Wednesday at N.C. Central University to hear Michelle Obama make the case for her husband’s re-election.

    Despite the political undertones in her speech, the first lady sought to portray President Obama from a personal angle — echoing a theme from her Sept. 4 speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

    As many as 3,100 people gathered in the McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium at NCCU, filling it to capacity.

    The event — which was sponsored by Obama for America — was one of two speeches that the first lady gave to students on Wednesday. Obama later spoke at East Carolina University.

    Obama told attendees of the personal struggles and moral lessons she and the president faced growing up, what motivated them and how this has influenced the president’s world view.

    “Like so many families in this country, our families weren’t asking for much. They didn’t begrudge anyone else’s success,” she said.

    “They simply believed in that fundamental American promise that even if you don’t start out with much, if you work hard and do what you’re supposed to do, then you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids,” Obama said.

    The first lady also reminded audience members of the struggles she and the president faced in paying for college.

    “When it comes to student debt, believe me, Barack and I, we’ve been there,” she said. “He never could have attended college without financial aid.”

    Speaking before Obama, U.S. Rep. David Price, D-N.C., mentioned to students that the president’s higher education policies helped pay for about 16,000 N.C. veterans and 250,000 N.C. students to attend college.

    The speech received a positive reaction from the audience, many of whom said they were moved.

    Jacqueline Futrell, an adult basic education teacher at Durham Technical Community College, personally accompanied one of her deaf students to the event.

    “I told her that since she was able to get a ticket, that I would personally bring her with me, to make sure that the interpreters were here and everything, so that she could also enjoy hearing Mrs. Obama as well,” she said.

    Tania Irwin, a sophomore education major at NCCU, said she nearly cried when she got to shake the first lady’s hand.

    “She is my idol, and I was just so inspired by her words.”

    dailytarheel.com »

  9. Messy Tampa weather could send more protesters to NC Convention
From the Charlotte Observer: Downpours in Tampa may douse some protest plans at the Republican National Convention. But organizers say Isaac could also affect demonstrations at the Democrats’ convention next week – boosting the number or the resolve of protesters determined to reach a national audience in Charlotte.
See the DNC schedule

    Messy Tampa weather could send more protesters to NC Convention

    From the Charlotte Observer: Downpours in Tampa may douse some protest plans at the Republican National Convention. But organizers say Isaac could also affect demonstrations at the Democrats’ convention next week – boosting the number or the resolve of protesters determined to reach a national audience in Charlotte.

    charlotteobserver.com »

About The 12

The 12 is a group Tumblr of The Washington Post and student journalists in 12 battleground states documenting the 2012 presidential election and capturing perspectives of young voters.

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