The Party Line

The Party Line: Raising the Curtain on Carolina Politics, is dedicated to examining regional issues and policies through the figures who give shape to them. These are critical, complex, and even downright confusing times we live in. There’s a lot to navigate nationally and in the Carolinas; whether it’s debates on gay marriage, public school closings, or tax incentives for economic development.  The Party Line’s goal is to offer a provocative, intelligent look at the issues and players behind the action; a view that ultimately offers the necessary insight for Carolina voters to hold public servants more accountable.

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House Bill 2 was back in the news this week - with decisions by both the NCAA and ACC to pull championship games from the state because of the law. We start this week's discussion looking at the potential impact of those decisions on the election. Then we look at the lieutenant governor's race.

WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer of Catawba College joins WFAE's Marshall Terry.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

This week, we start off by discussing final early voting plans for 33 counties that couldn't reach their own agreement, including Mecklenburg. Then, what kind of impression did Hillary Clinton leave after her speech at Johnson C. Smith University? 

WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer of Catawba College talks maps and laps with WFAE's Sarah Delia. 

With Donald Trump’s newest attempt to ‘reboot’ his presidential campaign, speculation abounds as to whether this latest campaign shake-up, along with the candidate’s mea culpa in Charlotte, will have any profound impact on his poll numbers in the race towards November.

Most modern campaigns are, structured around core components: A candidate who has a compelling message, a campaign infrastructure that is focused, flexible, and deep, and an environment that is understood and worked within, not around.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

This week, we start off by taking a look at maps, as a group of retired bipartisan  judges tried their hand at redrawing the state's congressional districts. Then we discuss the final lap of the 2016 presidential race. WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer of Catawba College talks maps and laps with WFAE's Sarah Delia.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

This week, we focus on the race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina. Ads in the race began airing this week.  Incumbent Republican Richard Burr is seen as vulnerable in what is a close race. Democrats have made taking back the Senate a priority. WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer of Catawba College discusses the race.

The state Fraternal Order of Police is still upset that the office of Attorney General Roy Cooper prosecuted former CMPD officer Randall Kerrick last summer in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell. FOP members walked out on Cooper, the Democratic candidate for governor, as he was speaking at the group's annual conference. The group also endorsed incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory.

WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer of Catawba College discusses the FOP's actions, early voting hours, and voter registration demographics in this week's election roundup.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

On the day that the state of North Carolina asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision regarding the state's voting law changes, especially voter identification and early voting, Mecklenburg County’s Board of Elections, on a 2-1 partisan vote, voted to cut 238 hours from early voting.

Much has been made about the role that white voters will play in this year’s election, especially those without a college education who are seen as the backbone of Donald Trump's support.

With the continuing division of the electorate based on a number of factors (partisanship, gender, age, race, and ethnicity), it is not surprising that the continued coalition-building by both parties are honing in on discrete groups that have traditionally been core groups.

Much has been made about the favorability, or more notably, the lack thereof, of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Along with all of the other aspects that the 2016 presidential election has "rewritten" in terms of how we normally expect campaigns to play out, this year’s election is shaping up as one of "who do the voters detest the least?"

Modern-day nominating conventions have become nothing more than ‘infomercials’ for both political parties, and this year's Democratic and Republican national party conventions were indeed that. However, both presented stark contrasts in terms of the product they were selling to the American electorate for purchase this coming November.  

As is tradition, the party out of power of the White House went first, and the one word that seems to sum up the Republican’s nomination of Donald J. Trump was anger.

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