The Party Line
1:27 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Early Voting Becoming Passé

Michael Bitzer

With in-person early voting underway in North Carolina, it might be helpful to break down its use in different areas of the state.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the state has eight urban counties and 20 suburban counties that make up eight metropolitan areas. The other 72 counties are classified as rural counties.

Within the eight urban counties, 59 percent of the ballots cast were before Election Day, while suburban and rural counties each had 53 percent of their ballots cast during the early voting period.

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Election 2012
12:59 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

The Week In Politics: Assessing The Impact Of The VP Debate, "Robo-Calls" In NC Governor's Race

Congressman Paul Ryan (right), Vice President Joe Biden
paulryan.house.gov and whitehouse.gov

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.

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Election 2012
9:12 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Candidate Who? New Source For Info On NC Judicial Candidates

Mecklenburg County Courthouse

The airwaves - and your mailbox - may be full of campaign messages for U.S. president or North Carolina governor, but further down the ballot you'll be expected to choose judges next month, too. 

Trouble is, you're not likely to find much if you search for information about those candidates online. They often don't have much money to spend campaigning, so even a Facebook page for the candidate can be hard to find.

"It's not easy!" admits Nancy Roberson, executive director of the Mecklenburg County Bar. "We had the same dilemma."

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3:35 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Dalton Pushes Education Plan That Restores Recent Cuts

Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton campaigned in Charlotte Friday to pitch his education plan for the state.  If elected governor, he says he'd push to restore education funding lawmakers cut in recent years.  That includes pre-kindergarten programs that prepare needy children for school.  It also includes raising teacher salaries over four years to the national average of $56,000.   

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Election 2012
12:46 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

The Week In Politics: Do Political Debates Matter?

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.

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Charlotte Talks
12:00 am
Thu October 4, 2012

The National Debt

These numbers are continually fluxuating. This screenshot was taken on Wednesday.

We hear about it every day; that debt clock that shows the amount of our national debt piling up every second. What is less clear is what it means. How damaging is a large national debt and what are the best ways to manage it?. One proposal is a national amendment that would give states certain rights to approve or disapprove an increase in the federal debt. We’ll talk with experts who will help us better understand the national debt, what causes it and what prompted introduction of the amendment proposal.

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Election 2012
11:44 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Are You Feeling Polling Fatigue?

Election season means more phone calls from political campaigns, public policy polling groups and media outlets who want to know who you're voting for and why.
Flickr/Karolina Kabat

We've all received unwanted phone calls. From friends, family … maybe even your boss (thank goodness, for Caller ID, right?)

Telemarketers have certainly earned a reputation for interrupting us, but we can block many of those calls with the national Do-Not-Call registry.

But since it’s election season, the likely culprit of annoyance is a political candidate, a third party interest group, or maybe a media outlet conducting a poll. The point is, polls are everywhere.

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Election 2012
4:41 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Dalton Pitches Himself On McCrory's Turf

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Walter Dalton
Walter Dalton campaign

Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton walked into the heart of his opponent's home turf Tuesday in the race for governor with a campaign appearance at the Charlotte Rotary Club.

Republican Pat McCrory won a record seven terms as Charlotte mayor and presided over big boom years. He's always had strong support from Republicans and Democrats in Charlotte.

So what kind of audience do you think a room full of Uptown business and community leaders would be for the guy trying to beat McCrory?

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1:37 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

The Week In Politics: The 47%, Outside Money In NC Governor’s Race, 8th Dist. Congressional Debate

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.

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Charlotte Talks
12:00 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Convention Leftovers

The Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The DNC is just a memory and Charlotte is back to normal.  The politicians, the media, the stars, the protesters, the delegates have all gone home but we’re not quite done with them.  So many people were here last week – we couldn’t get to them all.  So today, convention leftovers – and tasty ones, too, from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Gwen Ifill from PBS to Time Magazine’s Michael Grunwald.  Those folks and more when Charlotte Talks