The Party Line

With the unexpected death of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, the 2016 political landscape has shifted

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

The scramble for what happens next in North Carolina’s 1st and 12th congressional districts is well underway now that a federal 3-judge panel has declared their Republican-drawn maps unconstitutional.

Unfortunately, this pattern of judicial ‘holds’ on North Carolina legislative and congressional maps is nothing that we haven’t experienced before.  

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

In the past few weeks, two news stories implied this year’s election could be determined by not only "independent" voters but a possible ‘independent’ presidential candidate.

Recently, Franklin Graham announced that he was going on a 50-state tour to call on evangelicals to go to the polls and vote for “godly leaders.”

And while he promised not to endorse any candidates and expressed dismay with the Republican Party (“I’m as disappointed in them as I am the Democrats,” Graham remarked), it is clear that there is a partisan approach to any religious rally among conservative Christians to the cause of politics.

Now that the State Board of Elections has finalized the ballot for North Carolina’s March 15 primary election, some have commented that voters will face a ‘closed’ primary ballot.

In the parlance of primary elections and political science research, North Carolina uses one of several different forms of primary systems that states have for their election processes.

For an ‘odd-year’ in the election cycle, it was a pretty intense one, from the local level in Charlotte to the state and the nation. I’m reminded of just how intense taking a look back at some of the blog posts I wrote in 2015. 

With the controversy surrounding the I-77 toll lane project ­­continuing to swirl, the policy issues of whether the contract should be canceled, and who has that power, has become a political hot potato.

While Gov.  Pat McCrory this week made a “formal” announcement video via Twitter for his re-election bid, another video released a week earlier also provides a good sense of how the incumbent is planning a campaign strategy.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

In a recent opinion piece, the Charlotte Observer notes that perhaps this year’s Charlotte mayoral election paints the city more ‘purplish’ than partisan in its leanings. And at first glance, Democrat Jennifer Roberts’ victory over Republican Edwin Peacock with 52 percent of the vote certainly fall into the range that political scientists would describe as a ‘competitive’ election.

So what should we expect in Charlotte’s local elections Tuesday?

With the start of early voting for the upcoming election for Charlotte’s mayor, and many other local offices, the expectations are for a low voter turnout—most would be surprised by a turnout rate of 20 percent or higher.

Just two years ago, Charlotte saw a competitive election that pitted Republican Edwin Peacock (running again this year) against Democrat Patrick Cannon, who resigned from his office less than six months after winning with 53 percent of the vote.

Pages