Donald Trump Repeatedly Sticks a Stake in the Heart of NC's Governor's Race

Donald Trump Repeatedly Sticks a Stake in the Heart of NC's Governor's Race
FILE - In this June 24, 2016 file photo, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks during a candidate forum in Charlotte, N.C. North Carolina’s Republican lawmakers have legalized needle and syringe exchange programs across the state to combat a heroin epidemic law enforcement officials say is reaching critical levels. McCrory on Monday, July 11 approved the law despite objections from some conservative representatives who say such exchange programs only facilitate addictions. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

And this is one more reason Trump is a loathsome pox on all of America.

Sheer stupidity, on his part, and the part of those who have pushed him into the position he is in is handing this election to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

To be fair, Trump, although he may be registered as a Republican, is still very much a Democrat, so regardless of who gets to the requisite amount of electoral college votes and barring a third party intervention in the matter, a Democrat will still end up in the White House.

What’s worse, he has no ability to help anyone on the down ballot races, which have become even more crucial.

No ability, and no desire to help them.

A case in point would be my own, amazing Governor Pat McCrory. He has made strides in improving the economy of the state of North Carolina that are beyond phenomenal. He is possibly the most successful governor in the nation, right now, and he’s struggling to maintain his seat, against an opponent who is so bumbling, and who has proven to be so ineffective in his own job as state attorney general, that it is nothing short of insanity that he has managed to get reelected to that position for over a decade.

So why is this race for the governor’s seat so treacherously tight?

A social issues agenda that has been pounded relentlessly into the minds of North Carolina’s voters by liberal media, threatening certain ruin on the state if men aren’t allowed access to the women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, in spite of the reports of economists who say there is no discernible damage, in comparison to the economic upturn of the state has done a lot to sway voters’ minds. The media isn’t as anxious to report on the truth.

Then there is Trump, who comes to the state, arrogant, petty, and so wrapped up in himself and his vendetta to ruin everything, that he does not even do the governor of the state (and fellow Republican) the courtesy of a few complimentary lines within his speech.

It’s all about Trump. He has not taken the time to educate himself on the economic wonder that a McCrory governorship has brought to North Carolina. Instead, he tells North Carolinians that their state is in ruins and only he can fix what is wrong.

It’s the most glaring example this year of the disconnect between Trump’s apocalyptic rhetoric and the message of achievement that many Republican incumbents are trying to use to win reelection. It has been known to happen before — there was reportedly friction between affable Mitt Romney’s campaign and some recovery-touting GOP governors in 2012. But the gap between McCrory’s “Carolina Comeback” theme and Trump’s doom-and-gloom assessments yawns particularly wide, as McCrory faces the toughest reelection challenge of any governor in the country in 2016.

“It’s always tricky when you’ve got a governor running on a positive record of accomplishment and then to have the national political environment be so negative,” said Robert Blizzard, a Republican pollster. “Voters hear mixed messages from members of the same party, and all that serves to do is confuse voters. That problem is just further exacerbated this cycle by Trump.”

Trump’s entire campaign has been about stirring up anger in voters. He has offered them no hope, outside of himself. He also routinely attacks the Republican party, pitching the idea to his frothing followers that if they see any candidate with an “R” behind their name (other than himself, of course), they are to be looked on with suspicion, or outright targeted for destruction.

If constantly hearing that there are no bright spots in this nation, or that all of government is the enemy of the people does anything, it serves to dampen the spirits and enthusiasm of voters.

Indeed, Trump’s followers tend to eschew those they consider “career politicians,” partly because of ongoing dissatisfaction in how Washington has been run, but also, because Trump has billed himself as an “outsider,” and has demonized the idea of professional, experienced lawmakers.

Pat McCrory was the longest serving mayor in the history of Charlotte, North Carolina, having served for 14 years, before winning the governor’s race in 2012.

When you mix that, with the fact that Trump comes to the state and claims nothing has been done to improve conditions, it can have a damaging effect.

Ricky Diaz, a McCrory spokesman, pushed back on the notion of a disconnect or conflicting messaging among Republicans in North Carolina.

“Voters see their federal tax bill and they see their state tax bill,” Diaz said. “We trust that voters can make the distinction between federal issues and state issues.”

But most Republican operatives said that Trump does McCrory no favors by harping on economic woes without citing the state’s successes, as it could further depress turnout in an already volatile political environment.

“What Trump would add to McCrory are voters who were already probably going to vote for Trump and McCrory,” said one national operative who works on governors’ races. “But the rhetoric isn’t helpful. If voters hear a mixed message, it could keep them at home on Election Day.”

I want to believe what Mr. Diaz is saying. I want to believe that North Carolina’s workers are taking a close look at their paychecks and seeing the results of McCrory’s tax cuts.

At the least, I’d like to think those who have gotten new jobs, where they were searching before are recognizing that these jobs are coming to the state because of what McCrory has implemented.

Sadly, I don’t think anyone other than city council members, whose communities benefit from those jobs pay attention to how the jobs got there – and let’s be honest, they’re politicians too, so more than likely, they’re going to tell their citizens that they are responsible.

“North Carolina voters don’t think their taxes are lower, even though they are, and they don’t believe teachers got a raise, even though they did. They’re not believing the messages,” said a Republican North Carolina operative who frequently polls the state. “That’s not entirely Trump’s fault, but he sucks the oxygen out of McCrory’s message. I don’t think voters can hear all the negativity on the national level and believe the state has turned around.”

The consultant added that Trump is “not part of the Republican team” by putting “the governor in the tough position of having a presidential nominee criticizing your successful economic record, and that’s certainly not helpful to Pat.”

No, it’s not.

If we had a very informed electorate, who were actively involved in their government on every level, we would see a very different America than we’re seeing now. There is a reason our government doesn’t seem to represent we, the people.

Out on the campaign trail, GOP Sen. Richard Burr touted McCrory’s economic achievements at a Republican women’s luncheon in Pinehurst this month. But he acknowledged in an interview that HB2 “may be suffocating to [McCrory’s] campaign.”

“If people judge Pat McCrory on what he’s done, he’ll be reelected,” Burr said. “If they’ve formed an opinion, all out of salt, over a transgender bathroom issue, not on the jobs he’s created and the prosperity people have felt from it, that’s a shame, because he probably deserves to be reelected more than any other governor in the country.”

And I agree, wholeheartedly. The Trump stain, however, hit the top of the GOP ticket with a thick, wet splat, and it is oozing down to every race beneath.

What’s more, if Trump would at least read a few state stats before hitting the stage before a North Carolina crowd and telling them he is their sole hope, he could do the courtesy of giving Governor McCrory a well-deserved hat tip, but he won’t do that.

It was never Trump’s goal to help any Republican, no matter how deserving they are.


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