Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NC's media markets = chopped liver for May 6's primary?

OK, so there's been some talk about North Carolina's media markets on the night of the PA primary (and the apparent Clinton win) and how much the Obama & Clinton campaigns will have to spend leading up to the May 6 primary. One commentator mentioned that there were only "small" markets in North Carolina. Really? Well, according to the latest Nielsen Media rankings of Designated Market Areas:

  • #25 in the nation: Charlotte (1,085,640 TV homes)
  • #28: Raleigh-Durham (1,039,890 homes)
  • #46: Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem (671,890 homes)

For those folks interested: 15 counties out of the 100 North Carolina counties in the state typically deliver 50% of the vote in North Carolina elections. The majority of those 15 super-counties are along the I-85/40 corridor, which basically starts in Charlotte (Mecklenberg County) up through Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem through to Raleigh-Durham (Wake County).

I really don't think that NC's media markets, which will focus most of the attention of the electorate on May 6th, should be classified as "small" by national commentators.

Some resources on NC Politics

There are some great websites that will help to explain NC Politics:

  • Rob Christensen has been following and writing about NC Politics for over 30 years; check out his webpage, as well as his new book, The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics, published by UNC Press.
  • Jack Betts is another important observer and columnist of the state's political landscape who writes for The Charlotte Observer; check out his web-blog.
  • North Carolina's State Board of Elections has numerous data about voter registration and election results.



Thanks for checking my new blog. And yes, I'm new at this, but not at North Carolina politics. I'm currently teaching politics at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC, and have become very interested in trying to understand Tar Heel politics (from all political perspective...Deacons, Dookies, Wolfpackers, etc.).

With the new attention that NC will gain because of the lateness of the Democratic primary (who would have thunk it?), I'm sure folks will turn their attention to our May 6th primary. I hope to help anyone who might be interested in trying to understand the state's political dynamics, along with the fact that we have some serious races for gubernatorial primaries, U.S. Senatorial primaries, as well as other state and local races. I also have the great opportunity to do some election analysis for WSOC-TV, the ABC affiliate in Charlotte, along with some other news organizations here locally.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me, and perhaps we can get some good conversations going about nc-politics. Michael

PS--and just so that you know, I am a registered "unaffiliated" voter in NC, and don't profess any political allegiances either way (and yes, you can check my voter registration at the NC State Board of Elections http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/).