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.

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The Party Line
3:05 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

The Nation's Continuing Tragedy

Michael Bitzer

The tragic event at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, has become a focal point for a wide variety of issues confronting not just Charleston and the Palmetto State, but more likely the entire nation.

As the funerals begin for the nine black victims, slain at the hands and gun of a white-supremacist terrorist, the echo of an all-too-familiar question abounds yet again: how and why could this have happened?

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The Party Line
3:05 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

The Culture Wars Return To Raleigh

Michael Bitzer

With the pending U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage expected, and the issue of whether North Carolina magistrate’s should be allowed a ‘religious objection’ to performing same-sex marriages, the culture wars over social issues are still being fought in earnest.

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The Party Line
4:03 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Millenials Show More Political Independence As They Enter Adulthood

Michael Bitzer

Yes, it’s a year and a half away from the November 2016 general election, but already the punditry and analysis has begun in terms of what could happen in the looming presidential contest.

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The Party Line
11:49 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Competitive States Likely Lacking In 2016 Presidential General Election

With the presidential primary campaign heating up, the Republican field has become “anybody’s game.” It’s still fairly quiet on the Democratic side, with the possibility of a Clinton coronation still looming.

But the likelihood that the general election will be a similar cakewalk for Hillary Clinton isn’t borne out from the fact that most of the states, and thus the Electoral College votes, are already baked in for one side over the other.

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Politics
2:08 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

GOP Presidential Candidates Must Play To Conservative Base

Michael Bitzer

With the first official “hat in the ring” by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, the free-for-all race for the Republican presidential nomination is off and running, to be followed in early April by fellow conservative U.S. Senator Rand Paul - all leading to another crowded Republican primary field.

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The Party Line
8:03 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Recent Unforced Political Errors Have Roots In Partisanship

Michael Bitzer

In many sports, there’s the notion of an unforced error. It's something that the player did that costs the player, or their team.

In the game of politics, politicians commit unforced errors as well. But when you’re talking about the ultimate prize of power, those unforced errors can be more damaging than a simple dropped shot.

Recently, there have been two major unforced errors committed by both sides of the political fence.  While the scores may be different for both sides, the damage done shows the lack of strategy and, at its core, thinking by both players.

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The Party Line
11:41 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Candidates Waste Much Of Their Money In Advertising

Michael Bitzer

As many presumptive presidential candidates are heavily engaged in the ‘invisible primary’ process right now, the key caucus activity of this phase of the race for the 2016 White House is fundraising.

And if 2014 is any indication, 2016 should break all fundraising records.

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The Party Line
9:04 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Now, What Will Lawmakers Do With McCrory, Obama Agendas?

J. Michael Bitzer

Now that we’re through the “chief executive’s wish list” phase of the legislative year, both for the nation and the North Carolina, the comparison between the two give us a hint as to how both President Barack Obama and Governor Pat McCrory are setting the agenda for the coming year.

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The Party Line
10:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Obama's Address Shows No Worries About Next Election

Michael Bitzer

Just two months ago, President Obama and the Democrats suffered a sixth-year shellacking, with Republicans picking up large numbers in both congressional chambers.

Imagine the surprise, then, on both sides of the political aisle when a freed president came into his penultimate State of the Union address and pronounced what may have been the most liberal statement of values of his presidency.

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The Party Line
12:55 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

2015 The Year Of The Invisible Primary

Michael Bitzer

With the mid-term election year fought out between Democrats and Republicans, we can now turn our attention to a brand new year, along with a fresh round of new political fights. But this year, as prelude to the 2016 presidential election year, will probably focus more on intra-party battles as opposed to what we saw in 2014.

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