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
12:29 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Mining Electorate Data

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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).

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The Party Line
4:42 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Do Historic Voting Patterns Forecast 2012 Election?

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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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The Party Line
9:50 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Assume Video Cameras Are Always Rolling

Michael Bitzer

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right? There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement, and that government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49 -- he starts off with a huge number.

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The Party Line
3:56 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Beware Of What Campaigns Label As 'Facts'

MIchael Bitzer

When the United States was in the midst of World War I, U.S. Sen. Hiram W. Johnson, an isolationist from California, is credited with coining the phrase “the first casualty when war comes is truth.”  So it seems the same could be said for this year’s political campaigns.

This year’s campaign seems to be taking the “cut and paste” approach by both sides, and highlighting a minute piece of what a candidate says and creating a firestorm out of a dust-up. 

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The Party Line
12:46 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Had Enough Presidential Ads? Prepare For Increase

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The Party Line
4:37 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Some Thoughts From Charlotte’s DNC

Before the convention, we heard a lot about the lack of Democratic enthusiasm among the electorate, but the delegates in the arena were not having any of that. It was obvious from the beginning, with Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker’s platform address, that the attendees started at a high energy level.

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The Party Line
8:52 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Convention Faithful Now Try To Sway The Skeptics

Modern national conventions are often described as being nothing more than “infomercials” for the two major campaigns and political parties.

But for those delegates attending the conventions, it is a chance to show the public who the members of the parties are and what each party stands for.

First, some background on how the delegates got to each party’s convention.  Both parties select their convention attendees in a series of elections, usually beginning at the local level and working their way up to the state level.

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The Party Line
4:10 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Pay Attention! It’s Time For Pol. Conventions 101

With the Republican and Democratic national conventions about to take place, it might be good to have a Convention 101 lesson. 

Don’t worry — there won’t be an exam (well, not until Nov. 6 — but there will be more study guides along the way).

First, we think of conventions as being unruly and hotly contested meetings, but unfortunately, modern conventions haven’t lived up to this historical image.

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The Party Line
11:05 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Romney VP Pick An Appeal To Conservatives

Michael Bitzer

In the game of politics, each team needs its captains. And now, we know who the captains are: for the Democrats, it’s still Obama-Biden. And for the GOP, it’s now Romney-Ryan.

The 2012 election shifted gears Saturday with Mitt Romney’s surprise announcement that Congressman Paul Ryan is his vice presidential nominee.

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The Party Line
4:12 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Obama, Romney Seek Breakaway States To Join 'Base Regions'

No matter how you cut it, this year’s presidential race, from a national view, is one of the closest that we have seen a very long time.  According to various tracking polls, such as at Talking Points Memo, the race is a coin-toss

While this will be the feature of many commentators and pundits going into the conventions and the general campaign, the national picture isn’t where the focus necessarily should be — but rather on the states.

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