RALEIGH Just hours before Election Day and following record-high early voting turnout, Gov. Pat McCrory visited the N.C. GOP victory office in North Raleigh to thank the volunteers who have logged hundreds of hours putting out signs, knocking on doors and manning phone banks for his re-election. “I think finally people are hearing the real issues that impact N.C. and the leadership that we’ve shown in the areas of education, low taxes and a more efficient government,” said McCrory on Monday night. “Finally tomorrow all the negative ads about me will be off the air. We’ve been outspent two to one, but we’re still even or in the lead in some polls,” he said. “That’s incredible progress considering all the negative money from out of state that’s been thrown against me and a lot of other N.C. candidates. Incredibly, millions and millions of dollars from the Cooper campaign from California, New York and other states trying to influence N.C.’s election. I think the people of N.C. are a lot smarter than that.”Polls show McCrory in a dead heat with his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper. The campaign has been heated and gotten national attention, especially as North Carolina has emerged as a critical, “must-win” for the presidential candidates who each spent part of their last day of the campaign in the capital city of Raleigh. Many North Carolinians across the state have stepped in to help however they can, according to the party.”My oldest son has been volunteering here a lot, lots of hours,” said Laura McSoley of Raleigh, who was making voter calls for the McCrory campaign from the victory office with her three children. “My sons really wanted to do it. They said ‘come on mom, it’ll be fun’ and it is. We are getting a lot of positive response.”It has been an unusual year for volunteering with two county GOP headquarters vandalized, in Orange and Alamance counties. Last month the Orange County GOP headquarters was firebombed, but reopened the next day, operating on the sidewalk, with the work of volunteers. Early Friday morning the Alamance County GOP headquarters in Burlington was spray-painted with an anti-Donald Trump message. No arrests have been made in the incident, which was caught on surveillance video footage. The attacks were just some of the national headline-making events this year, including Hurricane Matthew and the riots following a police shooting in Charlotte.”I think we’ve proven that we know how to handle a crisis, not just with Hurricane Matthew but with the civil unrest in Charlotte,” said McCrory. I made the tough decisions early, before the disasters even got here and I think that because of our quick decision-making we hopefully saved lives and are going to continue working hard on the recovery,” said McCrory. “Regardless of the election, I’m going to be working hard on Wednesday on Hurricane Matthew because that’s my major priority and should be our state’s major priority at this point in time and I plan to do it as a second-term governor.”Both parties’ get-out-the-vote efforts appear to be working. The N.C. State Board of Elections announced over the weekend that nearly three million people had already cast their ballots. “We are proud of the highest early-voting turnout in the state’s history,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, executive director of the NCSBE. “Statewide, N.C. has more early voting hours and sites than ever before.”Polls are open across the state for 13 hours Tuesday, from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
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