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
5:52 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Breaking Down The Data: A Review Of Election Results

Now that the mid-term 2014 election is behind us, some thoughts and reflections before we move on to 2016.

First, the results are what most would have expected. We’re still awaiting the final data from the state Board of Elections as to the partisan and racial composition of those who cast ballots, but the exit poll results give some hint of a mid-term electorate that wasn’t like a presidential year.

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The Party Line
1:58 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Democrats Comprise Nearly Half Of 2014 Early Voters

Now that we have phase one of the voting process completed in North Carolina, namely the in-person early voting, all that we have to do is await the final results on Tuesday’s Election Day.

In 2008’s and 2012, 61 percent of the ballots cast came before Election Day, with thirty-eight percent coming in on Election Day.

But in 2010, only 35 percent of the ballots came before Election Day, while in 2006, only 21 percent came early.

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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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