Romney Rolls Out NC Endorsments and Contributions.
Mitt Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC is backing Richard Burr in his effort to retain his seat in the U.S. Senate representing the state of North Carolina. The News & Observer blog is reporting that Romney has contributed $5,000 toward the campaign of the incumbent Senator. Burr has been a mainstream conservative influence in Washington during these past six years in the Senate and since his election to the House during the conservative sweep of 1994. Now, as Republicans seek another conservative sweep in the face of the overreaching government led by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, the need to maintain the seats they already hold is an overwhelmingly important task. Despite this Republican year, Burr has occasionally looked somewhat vulnerable causing some pundits, probably incorrectly, to question if this anti-Democrat year is in fact an anti-incumbent year. Burr has nevertheless maintained a steady advantage over Democrat candidate Elaine Marshall in fundraising and cash on hand. Lately polling seems to be moving in a direction that favors Burr. In July, polling has shown the Republican between five and fifteen points ahead of his rival, and sometimes topping the crucial fifty percent mark. Although the election is not yet won, most indexes now see this as either Lean Republican or Likely Republican, and Romney’s continued support should help further that favorable trend.
Howard Coble, longtime incumbent in the 6th District has also received Romney’s support in his latest reelection effort. Coble is a veteran conservative, unafraid to speak his opinions in favor of strong agriculture and strong business, and against drug use, government-run health care, and the failed stimulus. He has been a reliable leader in the House in the efforts to stop the leftist Pelosi agenda, and will certainly continue to advance conservative causes throughout the remainder of his career. Coble is a stalwart that any conservative can look up to, which could lead him to be a target for the left. Even so, this race is considered by most to be safe for the Republicans once again this year. Although Coble has a determined opponent in Sam Turner, it is doubtful that the voters in this conservative district will oust this strong willed conservative in favor of a continuance of the Pelosi-Reid leadership.
Virginia Foxx is the third incumbent among Governor Romney’s latest North Carolina endorsements. Foxx is the successor to Richard Burr, winning his old district in 2004 as he sought and successfully won his way into the Senate. Since then she has easily weathered the Democrat onslaughts of 2006 and 2008, and will likely do well this year to see the next Republican majority in the House. Foxx is another outspoken conservative, heroically leading an attempt in the final days of the Bush administration to block $350 billion of unnecessary spending as a part of the TARP package, even winning bipartisan approval in the House before being ignored in the Senate. Foxx is a strong advocate for the taxpayer, consistently seeking to lower the tax burden for the people and decrease the superfluous spending habits of Washington. It is for good reason that Foxx is considered safe to defeat challenger Billy Kennedy in the 5th district. She will do well as a leader of the fiscal conservative agenda that will define the Republican majority in the 112th Congress.
Harold Johnson represents a strong pickup opportunity for Republicans in the 8th district. Johnson also represents limited government, tax reform, energy independence and many other mainstream conservative values that make him a strong candidate to unseat freshman incumbent Larry Kissell. Johnson is a grinder, one who worked tirelessly in a heated primary to win himself the opportunity to be the Republican challenger to Kissell and his support for the leftist leadership in Washington. Although a contentious primary often means division and bitterness within party ranks, Johnson is certain to apply the same tireless effort to unifying the base behind his solid conservative principles, and moving toward victory this November.
The voters of NC-8, who elected Kissell by a ten point margin in the wake of Obama’s heavy efforts to win the state of North Carolina, have previously favored Republicans sending Robin Hayes to Washington five times before his 2008 defeat. This race is currently considered anywhere between Lean Democrat to Toss Up, or Lean Republican takeover. Polling in June, before the Republican primary runoff, showed Johnson within six points of Kissell, with the incumbent Democrat winning only 41% of the vote. Despite his votes against the health care bill and cap-and-trade, Kissell has supported Pelosi’s agenda 95% of the time, and can easily be painted as a liberal in a conservative district in a conservative year. Although Kissell’s second quarter fund raising efforts have been noticeably weak, he does have an advantage in cash on hand. This is something that Romney’s endorsement and $2,500 contribution should help counter.
Finally, Jeff Miller has received support in his attempt to defeat blue dog Democrat Heath Shuler in the 11th district. Miller is considered by many to have an uphill battle ahead of him; this race is rated as Likely Democrat by most indexes. Still, Shuler is not considered safe, and has had to maintain a precarious centrist position during his two terms representing the conservative leaning 11th district in North Carolina. The 2010 elections will be about undoing the mistaken faith placed in the Democrat leadership during 2006 and 2008, and the key to defeating Shuler will be to paint him as a phony moderate, undependable to the true conservative electorate of the 11th district and ultimately another vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. Shuler has voted against Democrat leadership on many high profile issues, including the stimulus in 2008, the porkulus in 2009, the health care takeover, and cap-and-trade. Nevertheless, Shuler is not a conservative and not an adequate substitute for the real thing for conservative voters of NC-11. Shuler is rated by OntheIssues.org as a “liberal leaning populist,” with a tendency to favor federal funding for health coverage, affirmative action for women and minorities, while opposing school choice and free trade. Although considered a Blue Dog moderate, Shuler does still vote with party leadership 84% of the time.
Our candidate, Jeff Miller, meanwhile, shares Shuler’s widely praised pro-life, pro-second amendment views, accompanying them with proactive stances seeking to reduce punishing capital gains taxes that are hurting business growth, and limit the runaway government spending that is weakening faith in the American government and economy. Miller is strong on national security issues, seriously approaching the precarious balance of protecting our nation and her allies, while maintaining the integrity of our individual rights. In short, Jeff Miller is a principled conservative, genuinely holding values that are inviolable – not a “conservative” of convenience, a reed shaken in the wind molding his opinion as he sees fit to gain another term in power.
Overall, this is a strong group for the state of North Carolina, and the nation as a whole. Considering the general conservative nature of North Carolina as part of the right-leaning New South, this will be a prime battlefield in the fights for 2010 and 2012. Obama was able to help Democrats to victory in 2008, but his popularity in governing as a partisan leftist in opposition to public opinion has weakened his one-time strength in the Tar Heel State. This, along with the vast unpopularity of Democrat Congressional leadership, will strongly weaken Democrat prospects in moderate and conservative districts. Challenges that may have gained traction other years will falter, while incumbents in formerly Republican districts are at risk – even those trying to hold a moderate line are not safe. 2010 is a Republican year, possibly as strong as 1994. Possibly greater than 1994. Mitt Romney is among the many to see that. With these endorsements Romney is also seeing the potential for expanded success by principled conservative incumbents, and likelihood of the valuable ideas from the new candidates of today becoming the conservative legislation from the leaders of tomorrow.