Finally - numbers in the LG race. And they show that Hampton can win

23, 17, 9, 5

Those are the numbers in the newest (only) public poll released on the Lt. Governor's race. The big number, though, is 46 - that's the number of undecided voters in the race. The MoE is 5.

Walter Dalton has the backing of the entire Democratic State Senate, 53 Sheriffs, and all the money industry can throw at him. He's been on the air for months with the same ad repeating his name over and over and claiming to have saved the world from destruction and done everything but deliver babies, and he can't get over 23.

A progressive is going to win this election, and it's going to be Hampton Dellinger.

I told you we can win this!

Here's the information from WRAL, which sponsored the poll with the Mason Dixon organization:

On the Democratic side, 46 percent of voters remain undecided, according to the poll.

State Sen. Walter Dalton, D-Cleveland, leads among voters who have made up their minds, at 23 percent. Hampton Dellinger, a chief legal counsel for Gov. Mike Easley, is close behind at 17 percent.

Canton Mayor Pat Smathers, a retired lieutenant colonel in the North Carolina National Guard, garnered 9 percent support in the poll, while Dan Besse, a lawyer and former Winston-Salem councilman, is backed by 5 percent.

What is important to note here is that (1) Hampton's latest ad was not out when this poll was taken and (2) our work at the polls in early voting is not reflected in these numbers.

Early voters have come to the polls undecided, just like these poll respondents, and throughout North Carolina, they are being met by Dellinger volunteers, and when they come back out of the polls, they tell us they voted for Hampton Dellinger. We are the only campaign on the ground throughout the state working like this.

We're going to win.

We need your help to seal the deal.

Dan Besse and Pat Smathers are good men with much to qualify them for the office they seek. I like them both. But they both need to be able to push their support over the 10-15 percent mark in order to force this thing into a runoff. If they can't, then someone is going to win it outright on Tuesday. I don't think I am wrong when I say that those who support Besse and Smathers would be disappointed if Senator Dalton won this thing outright.

There is another choice. Hampton. He can win this thing Tuesday, but I would feel much better if that 5 percent that is currently in Dan Besse's column was lined up behind Hampton Dellinger. As the Independent said last week, on the issues that matter, it's hard to find policy daylight between Dellinger and Besse. Mayor Smathers' 9 would look mighty good added to our 17.

Make your own decision on whom to support if you haven't already voted. But I am asking for your support for my friend Hampton Dellinger. He's the right guy for the job.

He has momentum. The Charlotte Observer, which called him "an aggressive, ambitious advocate for change," said his "ideas are bold but rooted in the state's traditions . . . the kind of leadership a growing North Carolina needs."

Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, one of the pioneers of grassroots smart growth advocacy in North Carolina, endorsed Hampton yesterday.

Rep. Ty Harrell, Wake County's great first term Representative, just called out the troops for Hampton in Western Wake, and will work the polls for him on election day.

Charlotte City Councilman Anthony Foxx threw his support to Hampton, as have former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, Chapel Hill mayor Kevin Foy and everyday North Carolinians, young and old, who are showing their endorsements by meeting their neighbors at early voting locations across the state and asking for their vote on behalf of Hampton.

In the last two days I have had several off-the-record conversations with Democratic insiders who have consistently told me two things: (1) Dellinger's campaign has surprised the Establishment with its discipline and its widespread effort, and (2) the Dalton campaign isn't sure how to respond.

This race was supposed to be over when the Senator declared. It was supposed to be over when he announced the support of the Democratic Senate Caucus. It was supposed to be over when the first financing reports went out last summer. It was supposed to be over after the first few debates. It was supposed to be over when the Senator went on the air in heavy rotation.

Guess what?

It ain't over.

Hampton can win. If you wanted proof of that, look at that undecided number, juicy fruit waiting to be plucked by the candidate with momentum; with bold ideas and a plan to win; with both an air campaign and an army of volunteers throughout the state, keeping up with the professionals at their own game.

This is fun.

This is the race where you can make an impact. Join the fun, sign up at Or heck, just email me.


Join the fun

The party's tuesday night. The fun starts now.

"Hampton Dellinger WILL be a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

It's all fun, DFL

I don't know who will win the Lt. Gov. race. but when I stick my head out from under the presidential and gubernatorial races -- man, the sun shines so brightly!!

You're right about this.

I don't think I am wrong when I say that those who support Besse and Smathers would be disappointed if Senator Dalton won this thing outright.

I had to vote my conscience; to vote for what I wanted, not what I thought I could get. I like Hamp, I truly do. I had to vote for Dan Besse. My mother, on the other hand, voted for Pat Smathers. My better half will vote for one or the other, so you can count our family towards that part of the party.

I still say I wish I could have voted for three - or maybe thrown out the Governor's race entirely and used one of my votes for Lt. Governor there (seriously - we should have that option.)

No matter what happens - I hope one of our three wins.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors


Personally I have already cast my vote for Pat Smathers. I have many reasons for this choice. One of the more important to me is that Pat Smathers has served his country in the North Carolina Army National Guard. No other candidate has given the service and commitment that he has. In addition Walter Dalton has been a part of the establishment for many years and I feel it would be a good thing to have some change in our state. Hampton Dellinger is indeed an energetic candidate and it is sure nice when you have parents that can donate the amount that his donated, but what he has not actually served in a law or rule making role. He is in the position he is because of his father. Pat Smathers is a Veteran, a local leader and is a strong voice for folks from rural areas. Pat Smathers will look out for the working folks, the blue collar folks that work her in North Carolina. I think he is what we need. Someone who is not part of the establishment and will do what is best for all citizens from the state of North Carolina. Lastly, Pat is one of the most down to earth candidates for statewide office I have ever met. Pat seems very genuine is in this run for all the right reasons. He will make a great Lt. Governor and he is my choice.

You're entitled to your own vote, that's for sure

I look forward to winning you over in the runoff or the general. Your statements about Hampton aren't fair or warranted, but hey, I don't need to change your mind yet.

One thing - Hampton's parents did indeed LOAN his campaign money. That has to be paid back, with donations from others. Just wanted to make that clear.

"Hampton Dellinger WILL be a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Geez, Dr. Frank, like anyone doubts

that Hampton can win. The boy has practically been crowned already.

He's not my choice. If I weren't voting for Besse, I'd be voting for Smathers. But Hampton, who definitely does come from a background of considerable privilege, will probably not be a disaster.

He certainly doesn't have much in the way of competition in the general election.

I agree, Brunette, Besse and Smathers were my final

two as well. Dellinger's early agressiveness and the unfunded mandate aspect of his proposal to raise the dropout age to 18 are serious negatives imo.

But I'll also agree in that Dellinger would be ok, especially if someone could talk him into thinking that age 18 DO idea through.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Yea, that dropout rate idea is a bad one

The last thing you need to do to kids who are on the fence about staying in school is surround them by kids who have already mentally dropped out and are just hanging around the school because they are not yet 18. If anything, we should look into lowering the dropout age.

Personally I like Smathers. I met him last summer and he seemed like a genuinely nice person, and his wife was also very nice (and nice looking!).


But you really think we should think about lowering the dropout age? not heard that one before.

I agree, Pat is a nice guy. As is Dan. I personally like them very much.

Dropout to 18

The NCAE has long supported raising that age. I can remember, from personal experience, friends of mine in 8th grade, and this was in the 80s, just waiting to go to high school to drop out, because 16 was the age.

I don;t know about you, but I did a lot of growing up between 15 and 18. I realize there are costs here, but the message sent with a 16 year old dropout age is that it is ok to drop out. It's not ok.

I see your point on the financial issues, and I agree completely with Linda that the drop out problem is most effectively addressed at the beginning, not the end, of the school years, but I think the schools can walk and chew gum at the same time. send the message that it is not ok to drop out as soon as you get your license. And work like heck to inculcate a love of learning in the 3-5 year olds.

And THEN, make school something other than a series of standardized tests. That would be nice, too.

"Hampton Dellinger WILL be a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

We are burying the lede

The point is that Hampton, a progressive minded, intelligent, talented person, is nipping at Dalton's heels. It does not appear Besse or Smathers have a chance to win this thing. That makes me cringe, too, but it is the truth. The rational/wise/smart/right thing to do--if indeed you care about the issues and the prospect of having a progressive voice in Raleigh--is to help elect Hampton. Let's not make this about egos, let's make this about doing what we can to get one of the good guys in the Lt. Governor office. Dalton is so far to the right of Hampton it's scary. If we let Dalton slip by because progressives splintered that would be a sad day.

Let's do the right thing and help Hamp beat Dalton. This is one of the more important races of the year, lets not let it end with yet another lackluster "Democrat" getting the Democratic nod. This always happens in North Carolina and I'm tired of it. Hampton is our chance to break from this.

Let's be realistic.

John, you, Hampton, and friends have been pushing for months in an effort to create a atmosphere in which relative merits are set aside in favor of a singular focus on Hampton's larger bankroll.

Now you're spinning a second-place showing in one poll as "proof" that Hampton will win. Odd reasoning, that. Having spent nearly $400,000 for a weak second place, you project that spending a roughly equivalent amount by blowing the entire $320,000 in loans from his parents will somehow catapult him past Dalton. Do you genuinely expect him to more than double his supposed current 17% in order to pass 40% and win outright in the first ballot?

Pure fantasy.

Let me encourage everyone once again to vote in this first round--in Jim Neal's words--for what you want, not what you think you have to settle for.

Even more importantly, please continue to WORK for who you want, and don't allow this partisan analysis to discourage you. Debate on BlueNC at this late date will not affect enough votes directly to impact the results. The only negative result it could have would be to discourage the volunteers for Pat or myself from following through on election day activities--which could in fact have John's intended effect of undercutting our share of the vote.

Hampton has no realistic chance to win a first-round victory. Voting and working for myself or Pat in the May 6 round does not improve frontrunner Walter's chances of winning on the first ballot, nor does it affect anyone's chances in the runoff.

Except by helping to create the possibility that your first choice--whomever that may be--will be IN the runoff.

And John, before you come back with a snippet about 9 and 5 percent, yes--that's not good as a snapshot. However, as the reports also show, I have spent relatively little as of that poll date, and I have more than $100,000 to spend now. It's being spent as we write here tonight, and those numbers will be in flux by the end of the weekend. Knowing that I simply couldn't match Hampton's cash total from his family, corporate attorneys, and interstate sources, I've marshalled my resources for the close. It may or may not work, of course, but that's the art of political strategy for you in a nutshell. Ya make your choices and take your chances.

The difference between second and fourth place in this poll is merely 12% with an undecided pool of 48%. Another recent tracking poll (about four days old now) showed the difference between second and fourth place at just 9% with an undecided pool of 51%. Incidentally, I note from your finance report that you spent $25,000 for a poll in early April but did not release the results, so I assume that they were less than favorable to you.

We shall see. Again, the bottom line is this: There will be a runoff. In the first ballot, all of us can afford to vote and work for our first choice.

Dan Besse
Democrat for Lieutenant Governor

Dan Besse

Perfectly worded, Mr. Besse.

This entire comment explains exactly why I'm not only just VOTING for Dan Besse, but also why I'll be working polls, and also why my Jeep is adorned with two large Dan Besse yard signs (which fit nicely above my Jim Neal signs, thus making it the Besse/Neal-mobile.)

I find the OP to not only be offensive to us voters and volunteers, but more so offensive to Mr. Besse and Mayor Smathers. To discredit their numbers and urge voters to vote otherwise is an insult to all, and ultimately an insult to the entire Democratic process.

I'm not only voting for what I want, I'm voting for what North Carolina deserves.

Thank you, Mr. Besse.

Respectfully, Councilman,

In addition to several unfair shots at a man based on nothing more than his parents having been successful, you have just made a raft of assumptions I neither made nor intended. If you think my singular focus has been on Hampton's larger bankroll, then, again respectfully, read more closely.

Of course I hope people vote for my candidate instead of for you or Pat. If I didn't, then what the heck have I just spent a large share of my time the last several months doing? If they do, Hampton can win this thing going away.

But you're entitled to run, and people are entitled to vote, and I have neither made nor intimated the argument that a vote for you is wasted. On the contrary, a vote for a candidate who has worked hard and has a point in running beyond that of naive vanity is never wasted, especially in a primary. (Nader, on the other hand....)

My entire post was aimed at the fact that the supposed frontrunner in this race has a share of the vote, five days from the election, that is doubled by the undecided. And one guy with decidedly more progressive priorities is within striking distance, just barely outside the margin of error, of that frontrunner. I hardly think a rather mild appeal for the votes of those who might be considering other candidates is either unfair or unwarranted. This is going to be a close race, and I have heard several professionals (which I am not, btw, we're all volunteers in this campaign) tell me that right now they see this being won on Tuesday, by one of two candidates. I'd personally like to see that be Hampton. So sue me.

If your private polls from a polling firm that usually releases numbers to the public show different numbers, then by all means, take the cork out and let us see them. As far as I know, however, this is only the second public poll on this race in the entire election season. Thanks, however, for mentioning that a comparison of this poll with your private polling taken less than a week ago suggests momentum for Hampton.

Moreover, over 240,000 people have already voted. I'll take my chances, based on what I have seen anectdotally, that more of those undecided are breaking for Hampton. I know we're working hard to make that happen on the ground across the state. None of those people at polling places are paid with anybody's money. If they're out there working for Hamp, they're either doing it for the chance at a high-quality but cheesy T-shirt, or they're doing it because they genuinely want him to win.

As for wasting my time on here, perhaps. But I posted here long before I did so on behalf of Hampton Dellinger, and I will do so long after. Blogging is a hobby for me, and I enjoy it.

Good luck on Tuesday, Dan. I really mean that. I honor and respect your willingness to hold yourself out for public office, and as I told you in the rain in Raleigh when there were no cameras or readers around, you should be proud of the race you have run.

I know I am proud of my friend and all the volunteers I have worked with on his campaign. He has worked tirelessly - every bit as hard as you or Pat - to run this race the right way. He doesn't have paid staff showing up in audiences as supporters. He doesn't have anyone sitting in an office in Raleigh getting paid to make fundraising calls for him. He's at every forum, every debate, every pig picking, every meet and greet. His campaign manager is a volunteer who has known him for decades. I am a volunteer, and I have known him for ten years. His field director is a volunteer who just met him last year. The man has lots of loyal friends, and EVERYONE on this campaign is a volunteer except for the guys doing the TV. I don't make any apologies for asking others, including those who might be considering voting for you or Pat, to back him as well.

Now, if you'll forgive me, I have a brief to write early this morning. The law is a jealous mistress.

"Hampton Dellinger WILL be a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

apologize if my post was offensive

I've been pretty wound up lately. I just don't want to feel like we could have done more if Dalton pulls it off Tuesday. Good luck!

Ya know

I am a Besse supporter and have made no secret about that. I am also a political wonk who understands the way campaigning goes.

That said, I find it distasteful to say that a vote for Besse or Smathers is a vote for Dalton, in the same way that I, an Obama supporter, would say that a vote for Clinton is a vote for McCain.

If you want to pump your candidate, fine. But to say that voting for other qualified candidates is a waste of time..well, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Posting at 5:15 a.m.

Jesus Christ, Dr. Frank. You've got to get a life. Spending your life trying to defend lil' Hamp has to be so unrewarding.

And by the way- you do a great job of reiterating Dalton's message... experience, entire Democratic Caucus, Sheriff's, etc. I'm sure he would appreciate that. Amateur hour over here. Not to mention the fact that you actually think Hampton's "volunteers" really do anything but annoy the crap out of people who are just trying to complete their civic duty.


profane, ignorant AND bad grammar.

Great post!

I am much more frequently thanked at the polls than I am ignored or attacked. You can tell who doesn't want to talk. You don't talk to those folks. Others you ask if they'd like info. Most do.

Amateur hour, indeed. We'll see.

And when I post is more a consequence of my immense talent for procrastination when faced with the need to write than it is whether I have a life or not. I have a life. A great one. Hope you do too. You might start with reading comprehension. That tends to help.

"Hampton Dellinger WILL be a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

been on here one week and attacking the shit out of

Dr. Frank. you're a cool guy. Btw, a lot of folks have thanked me profusely for sharing info at the polls about Hampton. It's called grassroots, and most people here think highly of it.

I too wish Dr Frank would devote his time to other pursuits

but only because he's been a persistent, effective, street-level voice for a candidate who isn't mine.

And from the looks of his kids, he's got quite a life.

One thing I've learned in my time on BlueNC I'll share: it's a pointless place to go to pick fights with fellow progressives.

Five days and counting to lining up, shaking hands, saying "good game" and buddying up for the real fight. Prepare yourself to make new friends.

In the meanwhile: Vote your conscience. Push like hell the next few days to win votes through positive interactions with people at the polls.

Team Besse has been running long and is pushing VERY HARD at the finish. We learned it from watching Dan.

Thaks, Frank.

I don't think you and I have gotten to the level of Avery and Brodeur, so I'll be happy to line up and shake.

Good luck. and don;t forget to vote May 7. ;-)

"Hampton Dellinger WILL be a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

I am looking forward to the real fight this fall as well

2008 is a pivotal year for the party and after these primaries i hope we come come together and kick the tar out of the GOPers.

Keep up the good work. You are one of Dan's biggest assets and not doubt will help sweep many a Democrat into office this fall!

wanted to come to BlueNC Bash

and meet everyone else to, but couldn't make it. Soon enough. Would be cool to have another get-together before the General Election. I' am especially keen to meet Brunette--dying to see the face behind those comments... :)

Walking around money from Hamp?

Is it true that Hamp is paying a 100 bucks a day to individuals to be at polls pushing his campaign material?

The answer is no, Max. No walking around money

Max, you're a piece of work. Change your headline. The answer is no.

Some organizations pay poll greeters an hourly wage, because it is hard work. I know of no such payments from the Dellinger campaign to pollworkers. Certainly it is not happening in Wake County.

"Hampton Dellinger WILL be a great Lieutenant Governor." - Al Gore.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

I have never been paid in my life

When the girls were young it was the one/two days a year I asked dear hubby to take the day off so I could stand the polls from open to close. Now they're old enough to get themselves on and off the bus and I will stand that poll rain or shine on Tuesday. I love, love, love it. I love election day!

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.