Dispatches from the campaign trail, April 23, 2014

• Ad wars in the 2nd Congressional District! Democratic candidate Clay Aiken releases an ad citing his work with disabled children as his reason for running.

Meantime, rival Keith Crisco releases his own ad contending that Aiken was AWOL when he served on a presidential task force dealing with children’s issues.

• GOP Senate Debate No. 2, sponsored by WRAL News, takes place tonight at 7 p.m. Greg Brannon, Heather Grant, Mark Harris, and Thom Tillis square off once again.

• The hits just keep on coming for Republican Senate candidate Dr. Greg Brannon, as Buzzfeed digs up some controversial quotes from the Cary physician’s past.

• A New York Times political blogger suggests that incumbent Senate Democrats from the South, including North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, may not be in that much trouble after all. A New York Times poll for the Kaiser Family Foundation finds Hagan leading Tillis 42-40 (no other Republicans were included). But Obamacare remains a sore spot, as 53 percent said they would never vote for a candidate who doesn’t share their views on health care. The poll didn’t publish responses to questions about the approval rating of President Obama or his health care law.

• In a candidate forum, Democrats running for the 12th Congressinal District nomination say the proposal raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour is far too timid. Can you say, “15″?

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