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
4:13 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Safe Districts Embolden Bloc Of GOP House Members

J. Michael Bitzer

With the continued budgetary and debt crises consuming the country and the nation’s business, a deeper look into the warring camps may be helpful to understand their outlook and how much actual support each side may have.

Since their arrival on the political scene in 2009 and most importantly in 2010 election, the Tea Party has become the driving force within the Republican Party over the past two election cycles, especially in Congressional elections.

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The Party Line
1:14 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

How Polarized Are We? Let's Look At The Numbers...

As the game of gridlock “chicken” in Washington continues to march on, commentators are trying to explain “how did we get to this point of polarization?”

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The Party Line
2:03 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

We Are Witnessing Tyranny Of The Minority

J. Michael Bitzer

In the classic writing of American political thought, Federalist 10, James Madison argued that the new constitutional republic would “break and control the violence of faction.”

And by a faction, Madison meant “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”

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The Party Line
4:02 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Wos' Version Of Transparency Should Concern McCrory

J. Michael Bitzer

Controversy has been brewing for several weeks in one of North Carolina’s largest bureaucratic agencies, the Department of Health and Human Services.

The agency, which has 17,000 employees and a budget of over $18 billion, impacts a significant number of North Carolinians, from “prenatal programs, child development programs” to “rest home regulations.” 

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The Party Line
10:07 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

As Charlotte Grows, GOP Precincts Get Some Blue

With the primary elections for the City of Charlotte concluded and the candidates for city offices selected, can any analysis be done in looking at the fall’s general election for the Queen City?

An analytical approach known as the “partisan voting index,” or PVI, can give us a sense of how each of the county’s 195 precincts politically “behave” in their voting patterns.

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The Party Line
4:38 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Comparing Unpopularity Of McCrory, Perdue

­­With the special legislative session to consider overriding Governor Pat McCrory’s vetoes, the final actions of this year’s “long session” of the NC General Assembly is coming to close. 

And with the dust settling from the legislative actions, it’s worth taking stock of the reaction of public opinion toward the chief executive, especially in comparison to his predecessor.

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The Party Line
1:07 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

NC's Political Shift Borne Out In Data

Michael Bitzer

North Carolina has garnered a lot of media attention in the last few weeks, and dependent upon the political and ideological persuasion of the observer, the state is either: 1., headed for the ultimate demise of Western civilization, or 2., resurrected itself and found its true political nature.

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The Party Line
12:48 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Republican Lawmakers, McCrory Take A Bite Out Of Early Voting

With much of the discussion of the massive election law revisions coming to North Carolina, many have described the legislation as the “most sweeping voting changes in the country.” 

One aspect of the legislation that has drawn particular focus of the media and analysts is the seven-day reduction in the number of early voting days.

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The Party Line
11:19 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Education Was Cut! No, It's Increased! Which Is Right? Both

Michael Bitzer

Now that the regular, or “long,” session of the NC General Assembly has come to an end, the reviews are coming in fast and furious, most notably broken down by partisan rank.

With opening salvos from the New York Times and the response by the Wall Street Journal’s columnist breaking into the liberal-conservative reactions, some of the most intense fights centered on the core feature of most state governments: The budget.

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The Party Line
11:28 am
Tue July 23, 2013

GOP Lawmakers Evoke Controversy In Raleigh, But Go Home To Safe Districts

­With several months of Moral Monday protests under way, the North Carolina General Assembly may be feeling the heat of the dog days of summer, especially in terms of public opinion.

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