Tuesday, February 27, 2024

You’re going to wait longer for March 5 election results, North Carolina

You're going to wait longer for March 5 election results in North Carolina.

The reason is buried in section 29, page 18 of Senate bill 747. It reads as follows:

Clear as mud, right?

Chris Cooper and Michael Bitzer reflected on what this new legislation might mean in practice in a short piece in the News and Observer/Charlotte Observer.

News and Observer Link: https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/article285856706.html 

Charlotte Observer Link: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/article285856706.html 

Monday, February 19, 2024

Past Trends in NC's Primary Elections & Voting Methods: More Primary Voters Moving to Early Voting

By Michael Bitzer

With North Carolina's start to early in-person voting (what has traditionally been referred to as "Absentee OneStop" since voters could both register to vote and cast their ballot in a one-stop process), past trends might give us a sense of what we could expect over the next few weeks leading up to the March 5th primary election day.

In calculating the below charts for the 2016, 2020, and 2022 primary elections, I relied on the NC State Board of Elections "voter history" data files that keeps a record of the vote method and party primary that voters cast their ballots in. 

In pulling this information together, I decided against using 2018's primary election, as it was a 'blue-moon' election cycle with no major state-wide contest on the ballot (no presidential contest, for example, nor a U.S. Senate contest). With this year's presidential primary contest, I'm looking at the past two presidential primaries and the most recent mid-term U.S. Senate primary election (2022). 

Friday, February 16, 2024

Five Questions As We Enter the Official Election Season in NC

by Christopher Cooper

Pitchers and catchers are reporting to Spring Training, a few flowers are peeking out to take a look around, and roadways across North Carolina are increasingly littered with political signs. Spring is coming and the the 2024 election is here. 


Although ballots have been accepted in North Carolina since January 21, the election shifted into a different gear yesterday--the first day of in person early voting. As a result, it seems like as good a time as any to take a look towards the 2024 election and identify a few questions that observers of North Carolina politics should be watching.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Now All GOP Eyes Turn South to the Palmetto State's Politics

By Michael Bitzer

Now that the first two contests of the GOP presidential primary season are in the books, all eyes now turn to February 24's primary in South Carolina, the "first in the South" contest for the Republicans (Democrats will have their official first primary contest in the nation in South Carolina on February 3). 

Before diving into Palmetto politics, a bit of a review of some interesting trends in both Iowa's and New Hampshire's polls (entrance for the Hawkeye State, exit for the Granite State).

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Previewing 2024's Election Year? Buckle-Up

By Michael Bitzer

Well, it's the start of the new year and new semester, and with the 2024 Election year now officially upon us, I (along with my fellow contributors) will share some thoughts as to what we'll be watching for over the coming months. 

For me, it's a single phrase: buckle-up, cause it's gonna be a bumpy year.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

A Variety of Media Appearances to Start 2024

Several of the blog contributors have been busy with media appearances as the new year starts and the official kick-off of Election 2024 begins. 

You can find the following contributors at these recent appearances:

Dr. Susan Roberts was on WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins with a 2024 political preview: https://www.wfae.org/show/charlotte-talks-with-mike-collins/2023-12-19/a-2024-political-preview

Drs. Chris Cooper and Michael Bitzer were on Spectrum News 1's Capital Tonight (starting at 10:50): https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/coastal/capital-tonight/2024/01/03/border-policy-impact-on-elections#

Drs. Roberts and Bitzer were on WUNC's Due South's inaugural "Purple Ballot" series episode: https://www.wunc.org/show/due-south/2024-01-02/due-south-2024-election-preview

Dr. Bitzer was on WCNC's Flashpoint along with Winthrop University's Dr. Scott Huffmon (starting at 10:05): https://www.wcnc.com/video/news/live_stream/flashpoint/275-872a9285-37d5-4ff3-8e03-cfcc1f950d8f

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Brief NC Candidate Filing Update (updated regularly)

 by Christopher Cooper

Candidate filing in North Carolina began Monday, December 4 at noon and continues until Friday, December 15 at noon. This filing season is important--arguably more important in many cases than the General Election-- so I'm going to try to get in the habit of posting brief daily regular updates throughout this period for those who want to keep track of how the candidate fields are shaping up. These updates will be quick and the prose will be....unadorned.

Here's the update through December 13 (posted on December 14). 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Candidate Filing and the Illusion of Choice

by Christopher Cooper

If you want to understand how you will be governed in 2025, the time to pay attention is now.

Candidate filing for the 2024 election in North Carolina kicks off today (Monday, December 4). From now until the end of filing on Friday, December 15th at noon, North Carolinians who want to run for elected office can fill out some forms, pay one percent of the salary for that office, and become a candidate. Of course, few of them do this quietly--there's usually an announcement, a web site, a social media blast, and a press release that accompanies the official application.

Although it might be tempting to discount these announcements as "just politics," this is the time where the lion's share of outcomes for the 2024 election are being determined.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Barometer or Bellwether? Analyzing Ohio's Proposition 1

By Susan Roberts

Just days ago, the citizens of Ohio passed Issue 1, the latest in a string of state constitutional protections for access to reproductive rights and access to abortion. By a margin of 56.6 to 43.4 percent, Ohioans amended their state constitution to support reproductive freedom with access to abortion being only one item in language considered having “reasonable limits.” The victory was even sweeter for pro-choice Ohioans since only three months earlier, they defeated an effort by the Republican state legislature to raise the threshold to amend from a simple majority to a sixty-percent vote margin.  Remarkably, this vote was virtually identical to the vote on Issue 1's outcome, with 56.5 to 43.5 voting not to raise the threshold.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

About that New York Times/Siena Poll

 by Christopher Cooper

Two days before the 2023 elections that will decide  the next Governors of Mississippi and Kentucky, control of the Virginia and New Jersey legislatures, and the leaders of municipal governments in North Carolina and other states, the political world was gnashing teeth over....a poll about the 2024 Presidential election.

The New York Times/Siena poll of six battleground states (excluding North Carolina, but I digress...) showed Donald Trump with a commanding lead over Joe Biden in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and within the margin of error in Wisconsin. It also showed Trump garnering support from almost a quarter of African American voters. After reading the results, it seemed as if every Democrat in America commenced to panicking and trashing the New York Times while everyone with a closet full of MAGA hats sang the praises of the New York Times and expressed faith in public opinion polls. Strange times we're living in.

My takeaway: this poll reinforces that either Joe Biden or Donald Trump could win the 2024 Presidential election. That's it. Nothing more, and nothing less. Trump is not suddenly a favorite in 5 battleground states and he's certainly not up by 11 percentage points in Nevada. Nor is Biden favored in those states. 

So, why am I pouring a large bucket of cold water on the poll aftermath?