Dispatches from the campaign trail, May 5, 2014

Remember: The primary election is Tuesday. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Programming note: Your humble dispatcher will join Cash Michaels and host Donna Martinez tomorrow evening from 7 to 9 p.m. to provide primary election analysis for the Curtis Media Group. You can find the live broadcasts on the following stations: WPTF (680 and 850) – Triangle; WGBR-AM, Goldsboro; WTLK/WTOE, Burnsville; WWNC-AM, Asheville; WJRI-AM, Lenoir; WSJS-AM, Greensboro; WCAB-AM, Rutherfordton; WNBU-FM, New Bern; WTIB-FM, Williamston. You also can listen live at WPTF.com. Drop by!

• A tough ad by Bruce VonCannon attacking fellow 6th Congressional District candidate Phil Berger Jr. has led to threats of a libel lawsuit. VonCannon responded. The ads are below.

Berger’s response:

VonCannon’s answer:

• The early voters have spoken. And they don’t seem to have been “disenfranchised” by the General Assembly’s move to cut the duration of early voting from 17 days to 10, as many liberals warned. Nearly 280,000 ballots were cast during the early voting period, according to the State Board of Elections. That’s 100,000 more than were cast in the 2010 primary. Democrats outnumbered Republicans, 47.8 percent to 33.3 percent, with 18.8 percent of the ballots from unaffiliated voters.

• The Associated Press reports that 3rd Congressional District GOP challenger Taylor Griffin’s campaign has benefited from more than $1 million in spending from independent groups, primarily going after incumbent Rep. Walter Jones’ foreign policy stands. Meantime, a national tea party groups endorses Jones.

• A weekend survey by the Democratic Public Policy Polling firm shows House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, getting the 40 percent he would need to win the GOP U.S. Senate primary outright.

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