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.

Ways to Connect

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

On the day that the state of North Carolina asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision regarding the state's voting law changes, especially voter identification and early voting, Mecklenburg County’s Board of Elections, on a 2-1 partisan vote, voted to cut 238 hours from early voting.

Much has been made about the role that white voters will play in this year’s election, especially those without a college education who are seen as the backbone of Donald Trump's support.

With the continuing division of the electorate based on a number of factors (partisanship, gender, age, race, and ethnicity), it is not surprising that the continued coalition-building by both parties are honing in on discrete groups that have traditionally been core groups.

Much has been made about the favorability, or more notably, the lack thereof, of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Along with all of the other aspects that the 2016 presidential election has "rewritten" in terms of how we normally expect campaigns to play out, this year’s election is shaping up as one of "who do the voters detest the least?"

Modern-day nominating conventions have become nothing more than ‘infomercials’ for both political parties, and this year's Democratic and Republican national party conventions were indeed that. However, both presented stark contrasts in terms of the product they were selling to the American electorate for purchase this coming November.  

As is tradition, the party out of power of the White House went first, and the one word that seems to sum up the Republican’s nomination of Donald J. Trump was anger.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

Heading into the general election, I'm analyzing the voter registration pool for North Carolina at the beginning of each month, watching for key trends and development of certain voting groups.

With any general election, there are two aspects that most political analysts will start to evaluate: the composition of the possible electorate (‘who shows up’) and the behavior of that possible electorate (‘how do different groups vote?’).

Granted, North Carolina’s potential electorate can expand between now and November, but an early breakdown of the voter registration pool can give some hint of who is eligible to cast their ballots in the fall.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

With Republican voters solidified behind their presumptive nominee, Donald Trump has turned his focus to the general election.

Now that both Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s Chairman, Reince Priebus, have declared Trump as the presumptive presidential nominee, the attention turns to the general campaign and the November election.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

With the decision by federal judge Thomas Schroeder upholding the North Carolina’s election law overhaul that Republicans approved in 2013, the 485-page opinion is a massive analysis of the legislative intent and, at times, a stark dismissal of opponent’s criticisms.

The ruling can only be viewed as a solid win for the Republicans when they were desperate for any news of a victory for their party’s policies in the state.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

In 1992, the voters of Colorado passed a state constitution amendment in response to several local governments, including Denver, Aspen, and Boulder, that had enacted local laws to ban discrimination

based on sexual orientation. In the constitutional amendment (known as Amendment 2), these local ordinances were repealed and local governments could not prohibit discrimination on the basis of “homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices, or relationships.”

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