Race a ‘toss up’

The race between U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor, R-Brevard, and challenger Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, was reclassified from “Leans Republican” to “Toss Up” by the Cook Political Report in late June. The Cook Political Report is a respected national non-partisan political analysis and polling newsletter.

Meanwhile, another non-partisan polling group gave Shuler the lead over Taylor. Shuler leads 47 percent to 43 percent, according to survey results released last week by Public Policy Polling. When voters leaning one way or the other were factored into the results, Shuler’s lead grew 51 to 45 percent. The survey of 675 voters has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.

The latest internal polling conducted by Shuler’s campaign in May placed Shuler in the lead by a two point margin with 45 to 43 percent. It marked a significant increase over internal polling by Shuler’s campaign in February that showed Taylor leading 47 to 40 percent. The Shuler campaign’s internal poll in May showed that voter recognition with Shuler’s name had increased 19 points since the first poll in February.


Bringing home the money

Meanwhile, Taylor continues to use his seat on the Appropriations Committee to bring money to the region.

Taylor announced last week that Cherokee, Graham and Swain counties will share a grant that will total close to $3 million over the next 3 years. The school systems will receive $976,593 beginning next month for an anticipated total of three years. The funds will be used for the Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative to promote healthy childhood development and prevent violence as well as alcohol and other drug abuse. The grant will allow school to work together to promote health and safety for students.

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On the campaign trail...

• Heath Shuler saw “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore’s movie about the perils of global warming, last Thursday at the Fine Arts Theater in Asheville with members of Asheville City Council.

Last Friday, Charles Taylor attended the ground breaking for the new jail and shriuff’s office being constructed in Swain County.

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