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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Duke Case: Nifong in Catbird Seat

"Neutral men are the devil's allies." - Edwin Hubbel Chapin
Durham voters are making their beds and it looks like they want to lie down with Mike Nifong. Some are still holding out hope that Lewis Cheek will pull in a big majority of the undecided voters and squeak out a victory. Don't hold your breath. It does not look good.

The News & Observer/WRAL poll
for the DA's office shows Mike Nifong with a large double-digit lead. He has 46% of the vote, to 28% for Lewis Cheek, 24% undecided, and 2% for write-in spoiler Steve Monks.

Durham voters look like they want the circus to come to town. A huge months long media circus that will stakeout the Durham courthouse and give local businesses a big boost. The Durham Chamber of Commerce couldn't be happier. Every small businessman in Durham will probably vote their pocketbook and think to themselves - any press is good press, and if the three Duke boys are really innocent, they will be acquitted.

Nifong is in the catbird seat.

Nifong, who has been highly criticized for his handling of the affair, has tried to emphasize his long career beyond the single case. He said Tuesday that the intense focus on the lacrosse case has come from a small but vocal group, many of whom will not be voting Nov. 7.

"The people that are likely to have that kind of strong feeling about the lacrosse case and who believe it is the only thing that is truly of importance are not likely to be Durham residents," Nifong said. "I think I really have never thought that a DA's race for the vast majority of the electorate would be a single issue."

Nifong's read on the Durham voters and the race looks like it is dead on. The small vocal group against him will not be voting. A single "iffy" case against three boys from outside of Durham will not convince the voters to give the governor a blank check.
- Elsie Russ, 75, retired

says she Will vote for Nifong.

"I don't think those boys done it. But just over that one case, I can't go against [Nifong].

"If somebody runs over one of our children or grandchildren, we'd want them put behind bars. He's the one to do it."

- Eugene Gordon, 33, Whole Foods employee


Says he's undecided but skeptical of the lacrosse defendants.

"If you got money, you can basically buy your way out of anything. Are you going to take a stand for [the accuser] or are you going to stand with the people who have money?"
Steve "take me to dinner" Monks has done an excellent job of spoiling a direct two-way confrontation between a corrupt bully and a possible recall of Nifong with his crapola write-in campaign. Thank you very much Steve "take me to dinner" Monks, Cliff Brandt, and Charlotte Woods.

This is grim. Durham is going down a treacherous path.


sources:
Nifong in driver's seat, but many still undecided [N&O, Oct. 25, 2006]
Comments about the DA race [N&O, Oct. 25, 2006]
Referendum on Nifong [LieStoppers, Oct. 26, 2006]

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