Early voting is now underway in North Carolina. And this year, registration data show more voters are choosing not to affiliate with any political party. One quarter of the state’s electorate is now “unaffiliated”---a rise of 21 percent since 2008. In fact, in Mecklenburg County, unaffiliated voters have overtaken Republicans. But NOT SO FAST says WFAE’s political analyst Michael Bitzer. He’s been analyzing the data, and he tells Duncan McFadyen just because people are distancing themselves from parties, it doesn’t mean they’ve changed their partisan leanings. and

The presidential race tightened in the week following the first debate. So, the stakes were high Thursday night when Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan faced off in the campaign’s only vice presidential debate. Each candidate tried to show his command of the facts, but but this is politics, so to what extent were the candidates selecting those facts to make their ideas look better? WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer talks to Morning Edition host Duncan McFadyen.

University of Denver

Some people call political debates the “super bowl” of politics. The media was speculating that Wednesday night’s presidential face-off “could change everything.”

So, did it? And what about the North Carolina gubernatorial debate just a couple of hours before? Do debates actually change voters’ minds? Duncan McFadyen checked in with Catawba College Political Scientist Michael Bitzer.

With less than two months to Election Day, candidates from the presidency down the ticket are facing more scrutiny. That was clearly evidenced in comments released this week in which Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, speaking at a fund-raiser, referred to 47 percent of Americans as “dependent on government.”

WFAE’s political analyst, Professor Michael Bitzer, joins Morning Edition host Duncan McFadyen to review the week’s political news.