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.

With a week to go in North Carolina’s early voting, can we see any trends that might lead one to hypothesize that one presidential camp could be leading over the other, or is it a coin-toss still in terms of the numbers?

Political Update with Michael Bitzer

Oct 25, 2012

With the debates behind us, early voting underway, and the election less than two weeks from now, we’ll spend the hour with WFAE’s The Party Line blogger Dr. Michael Bitzer. We’ll talk about how things stand now with both the Presidential Election and the elections that are taking place closer to home. We’ll discuss early voting, and its possible impact in the future. And we’ll take your calls too.

With the word last week that the Romney campaign was feeling “confident enough about North Carolina … to shift staff out of the state” on the same day as in-person early voting started, it might be wise for them to consider some past history and the first couple of days worth of early voting.

The Mecklenburg Republican Party had to do some quick revisions to its 2012 Voter Guide last week.  The group sent out a press release, saying it received some "troubling information" regarding a candidate for the Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor and "disavowed" any connection with the candidate.

The release doesn't mention the name of the candidate, but it was likely Doug Hanks.  Hanks is a private conservation officer who says he created a privately-managed redwood reforestation project in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

We’ve had two debates for the chief executive for both the nation and the state, and while the Democratic candidates came out swinging in both, it was the president who obviously got his mojo back, and the lieutenant governor trying to make anything stick. 

Since the widely-panned performance at the first debate, the need to stem the bleeding by President Obama — particularly among his own party faithful — built up a level of expectations that could have rivaled the level Mitt Romney faced going into the first confrontation.

With all the attention on the presidential and gubernatorial contests in North Carolina, you’d think there’s only one or two shows in town for this year’s election —but there are many other elections that will appear on voters’ ballots this fall.

Over the next few posts, I’ll be covering different races that are trying to command the electorate’s attention.  First, we’ll start with North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts.

In a recent posting at NBC Latino, Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto noted that she during her time in the North Carolina, she came to find a growing and vibrant Hispanic/Latino community.

And in a recent opinion piece, she believes that “the importance of Latinos is just as big in the smaller state of North Carolina” as it is in traditional Latino swing states such as Nevada or Florida.

It was a two-for debate night, with the candidates for chief executive of North Carolina and the nation having their first televised debates. Both debates were much more than the stereotyped “talking points” forums. They were both substantive, in general, and certainly set a tone for the final month of the general campaign.

In the previous post, I compared the past two presidential elections against one another in a variety of different areas, most notably in the composition of voters casting ballots in North Carolina. 

Registered Democrats saw a significant increase (364,735) in their ballot numbers between 2004 and 2008, rising 22 percent, while registered Republicans saw a 9 percent increase in their voters casting ballots (120,896).

There are different ways of looking at the possible electorate, based on past presidential elections. For example, North Carolina’s electorate might be reflective of the composition of registered voters in the state.

So let’s start with the 2004 election, when George W. Bush won the state by 13 percent—and was a continuation of what North Carolina had traditionally voted at the presidential level. As was evident in previous elections, North Carolina was a state where the Republicans won by double-digits over a series of elections, and was classified as “safe” GOP state.

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