Wednesday, February 3, 2021

ONSP Contributors on the Tying It Together Podcast

Drs. Chris Cooper, Susan Roberts, and Michael Bitzer talked with Tim Boyum of Spectrum News 1 for his podcast Tying It Together about the calls for "unity" and share their thoughts about what that means and how it can be achieved, if it can. 

You can find the podcast here or on any of your favorite podcast venues. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Exploring NC's Republican Switchers

By Susan Roberts & Michael Bitzer

As has been noted in several news articles, numerous North Carolina registered Republican voters have left the party to another registration, most notably going 'unaffiliated' in their party status. Some speculation for the switch could be due to the storming of the Capitol at January 6th insurrection.  

Yet even before the divisive nature of the 2020 election came to a head, public opinion polls have shown a deepening and unsettling frustration with the two major parties since the 2000s. However, a closer examination is needed of the actual number of North Carolina Republicans abandoning their party label in the context of the 2020 Election, its aftermath, and potentially in light of the events of January 6. 

Party registration can be fluid, and in this day of intense party polarization, it might be thought that only the true partisan—the loyalists, the die-hards—associates with a party, while other voters may want to avoid the public party label for the comfort of being ‘unaffiliated’ in their party registration status (granted, this could be just one of many reasons). Even before the divisive election of Donald Trump in 2016, some Americans were calculating the social desirability of identifying with either party

But while a few weeks data can paint a picture of the party switchers, we decided to look more broadly and deeply into the data to see what has happened since the general election last year, and in particular who these North Carolina GOP defectors are, based on some key demographic details.