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Is the next governor’s race already taking shape?

Republican strategist Carter Wrenn, on the Talking About Politics blog:

He leaned forward, pouring over page after page of numbers, searching for a lodestar, then stopped: “Republicans are dropping. Democrats are dropping. Independents are going up. There’ll be more registered independents than Republicans by the end of the year,”he said.

And I asked, “Did you see Pat McCrory’s TV interview?”

“You mean where Pat said he wants a rematch with Roy Cooper?”

“It sounded that way.”

He nodded, then asked: “Do you know how many followers Pat has on Facebook?”

“201,000.”

“Is he doing anything with them — is he talking to them?”

“He posted eight times last month. Twice each week.”

“How many followers does Dan Forest have?”

“78,000.”

“What about Phil Berger?”

“137,000. And Phil’s got more sizzle than Pat or Dan. He lights into Roy Cooper.”

“Facebook numbers aren’t scientific — like a poll. They don’t mean Pat beats Dan in a primary.”

“No. They don’t. But Pat is better known than Dan.”

“What about Phil – do you think he’ll run?”

“Phil keeps his own counsel. But he is sending out mailings to Republican voters statewide.”

“What about money?”

“Pat’s got 10 times the money in the bank Dan has. And Phil’s got more money than Pat.”

He glanced down. Chuckled. “If they all run, it’ll be Katie-bar-the-door-time. There’s never been a Republican primary for governor with three major candidates.”

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