The Party Line

The Party Line 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 elections, 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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In our final chat before Election Day Morning Edition host Marshall Terry talks about last minute campaign strategies, early voting results, and this week’s NAACP lawsuit with political analyst Michael Bitzer.

Early voting is up 10.7 percent in Mecklenburg County, compared with the last presidential election four years ago. As of Wednesday night, the 14th day of early voting, 211,876 people had cast early ballots in the county. That's up from 191,405 after the same number of days in 2012. Voter registration is up just 4 percent since 2012, according to the Mecklenburg Board of Elections. The biggest turnouts so far are at Morrison, Steele Creek and University City libraries, where there have been...

James Hoyt Wilhelm
Charlotte Observer

The CMS board voted this week to name a park at Cornelius Elementary School after Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and Mecklenburg County native James Hoyt Wilhelm.

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No matter your preferred genre, be it rock, rap, country, pop, whatever, every live show follows a simple plan; the big draw goes last. That’s one thing that made Thursday’s campaign stop in Winston-Salem by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama interesting. Ok, one of many. Yes, it was the first time the two women took the stage at a campaign event this year. And yes, it comes at a key time in a battleground state. But if you were there, or if you want...

Politicians love to brag about their endorsements. Those statements of support from other candidates, police or labor unions, newspapers, whatever. On Friday, October 28 th , Republican Governor Pat McCrory received an endorsement from a newspaper which, at first blush, sounds great for him. The endorsement starts with this question, “Which candidate would do the most to help our local economy?” The answer, the editorial continues, is easy. “It’s Pat McCrory, the Republican governor of North...

This election season, we’ve heard a lot about the presidential race, and campaigns for U.S. Senate and governor in North Carolina – and for good reason. We haven't heard much about state legislative races even though the General Assembly has fueled some of the year’s biggest political stories. Think House Bill 2, plus redistricting and changes to voting laws that were struck down in federal court. Republicans are expected to maintain control of the General Assembly. The question is how much...

Early voting lines at Charlotte's Veterans Park in 2012.
Jennifer Lang / WFAE

The number of early votes cast in Mecklenburg County for the Nov. 8 election is behind the pace of early voting in the past two presidential elections, according to figures from the county board of elections. Turnout numbers should start rising faster: More early voting sites opened across North Carolina Thursday. That's welcome news for voters who were deterred by long lines at some polling sites last week.

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Arguably the most influential race on your Election Day ballot is between two men you’ve never heard of. Bob Edmunds and Mike Morgan. Edmunds is a Republican. Morgan a Democrat. And the victor will decide whether liberals take over or conservative hold their majority on North Carolina’s Supreme Court.

We're now a little more than two weeks away from election day. In our discussion this week with political analyst Michael Bitzer, we look at where the big races are in the polls and we also talk about this week's gubernatorial debate and the beginning of early voting.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

As we enter the homestretch of the 2016 election, much attention will turn from the horse race (i.e., the polls) to the turnout race. Much will be made about what kind of electorate will show up, based on racial dynamics, age, gender, and, from what seems like a major fault line for 2016, education. North Carolina’s electorate has expanded considerably since 2000, with 2008 and 2012 continuing to see more voters casting ballots: 4.3 million in 2008 and 4.5 million in 2012. While much has been...

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