The Party Line

The Party Line: Raising the Curtain on Carolina Politics, is dedicated to examining regional issues and policies through the figures who give shape to them. These are critical, complex, and even downright confusing times we live in. There’s a lot to navigate nationally and in the Carolinas; whether it’s debates on gay marriage, public school closings, or tax incentives for economic development.  The Party Line’s goal is to offer a provocative, intelligent look at the issues and players behind the action; a view that ultimately offers the necessary insight for Carolina voters to hold public servants more accountable.

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The Party Line
6:05 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

So Far, Early Voting Enthusiasm Wanes For GOP

Michael Bitzer

With the first four days of in-person early voting under way, the number of voters showing up to cast ballots in North Carolina indicates that there appears to be an energy level that may be running against the grain of conventional wisdom.

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Politics
4:49 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

With 3 Weeks To Go, Let's Analyze Electorate

With three weeks to go, a lot of prognostication is going on in the political analysis universe.

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The Party Line
9:30 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

U.S. Senate Debate? More Like A Battle of Talking Points

Michael Bitzer

The idyllic vision of political debates is that they serve as an opportunity for the candidates to share their thoughts and ideas on issues of public policy, to engage with their opponents and clearly delineate where they stand from the other side and how they would impact public policy.

While we had a ‘debate’ of sorts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between incumbent U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and challenger Thom Tillis, what we really got was a gloves-off slugfest of aggressive talking points. In other words, a no-holds brawl rather than a debate.

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The Party Line
10:05 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Surprise, Suprise. Hagan Has Momentum

Michael Bitzer

As we enter the last weeks of the general campaign, North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race has some analysts believing that the Hagan-Tillis battle is defying the normal expectations.

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The Party Line
3:56 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Despite Growth, Don't Expect Unaffiliated Voters To Exercise Influence

As we head into the final weeks of the general election campaign, attention is turning to who will make up the electorate, with a focus on North Carolina’s fastest-growing voter group: unaffiliated.

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The Party Line
3:27 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Gender Politics Front And Center In Hagan-Tillis Race

The U.S. Senate race between Republican challenger Thom Tillis and Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan seems to be taking a notable shift in tone and approach, seemingly driven by gender.

Never mind that the race is between a man and a woman; the issues, ads, and even the polling have become representative of the classic ‘gender gap’ that surfaces within American politics.

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The Party Line
3:23 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Measuring Voter Enthusiasm

Much has been made about the ‘enthusiasm’ gap that may be prevalent going into this year’s mid-term elections. Traditionally, the party in control of the White House has diminished enthusiasm about voting in mid-term elections. 

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The Party Line
10:56 am
Thu September 4, 2014

The Party Line: Expect More Of Same In U.S. Senate Race

With the first debate of the U.S. Senate contest now in the books, we got a clear sense of what we should expect for the final two months of the Tillis-Hagan race: More of the same that we’ve seen for the past several months. 

Going into the debate, the big question seemed to be whether Tillis and Hagan would appeal to their respective electoral bases, or to the middle of the electorate, where the small number of independents may be convinced to finally pay attention two months before the actual election?

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Politics
8:00 am
Wed September 3, 2014

First Hagan-Tillis Debate Tonight; What To Watch For

Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis
Credit Courtesy of Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis

Senator Kay Hagan and Speaker Thom Tillis meet in Raleigh tonight for their first televised debate. Political debates can make or break candidates no matter the office, and this one comes when polls show the candidates are in a statistical tie.

Both Hagan and Tillis have spent the last few days preparing for tonight’s oratorical prizefight. That’s why we asked the press secretary from both camps to help us with the pre-game. Meghan Burris is with "Team Tillis," Chris Hayden is with "Team Hagan."

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The Party Line
3:26 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Hagan, Tillis Begin Home Stretch Of Election

Even though the “general” campaign started immediately after Thom Tillis won the May primary, the real general campaign can start in earnest with the end of summer.   

And in the notorious “sixth-year” itch that voters can get against the president’s party, Hagan has added baggage that makes her climb to re-election even harder.

Hagan certainly benefited from the ground game that Obama brought to the state in 2008, but now she has to figure out how to develop a ground game with a president who isn’t on the ballot and has a low approval rating to boot.

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