Michael Bitzer

Political Columnist

Dr. Michael Bitzer is an associate professor of politics and history at Catawba College, where he also serves as the 2011-2012 Swink Professor for Excellence in Classroom Teaching and the chair of the department of history & politics.  A native South Carolinian, he holds graduate degrees in both history and political science from Clemson University and The University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. Bitzer’s studies have focused on Southern politics, campaigns and elections, and a variety of topics in American politics.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

Heading into the general election, I'm analyzing the voter registration pool for North Carolina at the beginning of each month, watching for key trends and development of certain voting groups.

With any general election, there are two aspects that most political analysts will start to evaluate: the composition of the possible electorate (‘who shows up’) and the behavior of that possible electorate (‘how do different groups vote?’).

Granted, North Carolina’s potential electorate can expand between now and November, but an early breakdown of the voter registration pool can give some hint of who is eligible to cast their ballots in the fall.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

With Republican voters solidified behind their presumptive nominee, Donald Trump has turned his focus to the general election.

Now that both Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s Chairman, Reince Priebus, have declared Trump as the presumptive presidential nominee, the attention turns to the general campaign and the November election.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

With the decision by federal judge Thomas Schroeder upholding the North Carolina’s election law overhaul that Republicans approved in 2013, the 485-page opinion is a massive analysis of the legislative intent and, at times, a stark dismissal of opponent’s criticisms.

The ruling can only be viewed as a solid win for the Republicans when they were desperate for any news of a victory for their party’s policies in the state.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

In 1992, the voters of Colorado passed a state constitution amendment in response to several local governments, including Denver, Aspen, and Boulder, that had enacted local laws to ban discrimination

based on sexual orientation. In the constitutional amendment (known as Amendment 2), these local ordinances were repealed and local governments could not prohibit discrimination on the basis of “homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices, or relationships.”

The key questions throughout the prior primaries and caucuses have been about the electorates’ composition. With the notable influx of voters into the Republican presidential primary and the clear distinction between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders when it comes to Democratic primary voters’ age and race, who shows up in Tuesday’s primary will be a key question.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

Donald Trump, while not completely engulfing his opponents with a tsunami, did extremely well on Super Tuesday.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

Some thoughts following both the Nevada Democratic caucus and the South Carolina Republican primary appear to show a clearer sense of where things are headed in the presidential battles.

For Hillary Clinton’s campaign, coming off a thumping in New Hampshire’s primary, Clinton needed the first state where minority voters would be influential, and she managed to achieve that in Nevada.

With the release of the ‘contingent’ congressional district maps by the Republicans, my immediate reaction upon seeing the map was an emphatic “wow.” There were some very dramatic changes to at least eleven of the thirteen districts, and the effects of such a change will be significant in this hyper-partisan election year.

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