- Associated Press - Thursday, March 12, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Republicans say they’re making a concerted effort to attract Wake and Mecklenburg county voters.

State GOP Chairman Claude Pope and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr announced Thursday an initiative called “Project Listen.” They say they want to understand issues in the counties and how to communicate better with those voters.

Republicans are at a high watermark in North Carolina, but they’ve suffered setbacks in the two largest counties. Democrats control the Wake and Mecklenburg commissions and new U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis lost both counties while defeating Kay Hagan last November. Burr is seeking re-election in 2016.

Project Listen will be led by Tillis’ wife Susan and U.S. Rep. George Holding of Raleigh. They’ll issue a report to GOP leaders by year’s end after researching and assessing the GOP brand.

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