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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Politics
12:00 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Health Care Ruling More Like A 4-1-4 Decision

In some of the best-known lines in constitutional law, Chief Justice John Marshall declared that it is…

“emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department [the judicial branch] to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of necessity, expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the Courts must decide on the operation of each.”

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Politics
12:00 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Health Care Decision Adds Fuel To Campaigns

I think the Supreme Court’s decision is certainly a legal and policy win for Obama, but it may be a bigger political win for Romney.  The decision is almost certainly going to inflame the Tea Party faction of the GOP, which is determined to repeal this decision, and if Romney can tap into that anger and harness it for November, he would certainly shore up any lingering conservative doubts about his candidacy. 

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Politics
12:00 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Candidates' Spending Spree Could Get Tiresome

Both the Romney and Obama campaigns raked in substantial amounts of money for May. For Obama, it was $60 million, while Romney and the Republicans were able to collect more than $76 million, the first time the GOP had topped the president and the Democrats in fundraising.

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Politics
12:00 am
Thu June 7, 2012

NC An Inelastic Study In Political Science

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In a recent posting on his New York Times blog fivethirtyeight, Nate Silver differentiates between “swing states,” which conventional wisdom has described North Carolina as being, and “elastic states,” which Silver believes is a better descriptor.

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Politics
12:00 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Great Time To Be A Political Stat Nerd

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As a political scientist, I am sort of a “number cruncher” who likes to empirically test what we know about human behavior through statistical analysis.  With the election results certified by the N.C. Secretary of State, I ran some statistical analyses on the county-wide results to see what, if anything, might explain things from the May primary.

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Politics
12:00 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Can The Presidential Race Be That Tight This Early? Yup.

Gallup Polling released a great set of data on their weekly tracking of the presidential race, with a 46-46 tie between the Democrat and Republican.  For the most part, it tracks with what other polls are saying about the Obama-Romney contest: with five months to go, it’s pretty much tied up with very few folks undecided. 

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The Party Line
12:00 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Third Parties Need A Face To Succeed

Gallup Poll of Party Identification

In my previous post, I wrote about the failure of Americans Elect to secure a candidate for their third party attempt at the 2012 elections.  Along with the formal rules of the game, Americans Elect apparently could not get over its own rules: The viability of candidates to win the group’s primary process. 

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The Party Line
12:00 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Two-Party System Successfully Blocks Competition

I was sitting in my office reading the news that third-party Americans Elect failed to secure a viable candidate when I got an e-mail from Julie Rose of WFAE, hoping for some insight on the issue.

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The Party Line
12:00 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Yellow-Dog Democrats Still Influential, But Waning

In my last two postings, “Pebbles” posed some interesting questions about the May primary election that I thought would make for some good feedback and responses:

Pebbles: “I’d be interested to know if the counties that voted against the amendment have more registered Democrats, Republicans, or Independents.”

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The Party Line
12:00 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Breakdown Of Amendment Vote Indicates GOP Base Hasn’t Solidified For Romney

In looking at the amendment vote across the state, we see some things that really shouldn’t surprise a lot of folks regarding the results, but then there are some aspects that, when you dig deeper, are surprising.

First, we heard a lot about the controversy within the black community regarding the vote on the amendment defining marriage, in particular the split between social conservatism and civil rights.

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