Monday, May 05, 2008

Unaffiliateds in “a real ticket-splitting place”

North Carolina is not an “open primary” state in the sense that someone registered with any party or no party can vote in any party’s primary.

But voters registered as “Unaffiliated” (U’s ) may vote in either the Democratic (D) or Republican (R) primary tomorrow.

As of 4 PM ET today, May 5, the N.C.’s State Board of Election’s main page contained the following voter registration numbers:

DEMOCRATS - - - - - 2,632,402

REPUBLICANS - - - 1,933,645

UNAFFILIATED - - - 1,244,538

TOTAL - - - - - - - - - 5,810, 585

We have early voting in NC. It began on Apr. 17 and closed this past Saturday, May 3.

Election officials I’ve talked to across the state say the early voting turnout has been heavy. In an interview last Thursday, Durham County’s Director of Elections Mike Ashe told me the “turnout’s been huge so far.” He predicted that when early voting ended on Saturday the vote total would exceed 20,000. He was right.

Ashe also said U’s were “overwhelmingly” requesting D ballots. Election officials across the state tell me the same thing.

Election officials expect the strong U’s preference for D ballots to hold during tomorrow’s primary election day voting.

Some of the U’s preference for D ballots has to do with a very well-publicized, competitive race for the D gubernatorial nomination and other D state and local races.

For example, in Durham County there’s a four-way race for the D nomination to fill the unexpired term of the now disbarred Mike Nifong, but not even one R candidate running in that party’s primary.

Nevertheless, election officials to a person say the main reason for the strong U's preference for D ballots is the Clinton- Obama contest.

I’ll now offer a few comments about U’s based on those I know and what others whose knowledge I respect have said about them.

Don’t confuse Unaffiliated with uninterested.

Most U’s I know follow politics more closely than “the average voter.”

One of the first things many U’s will tell you is an important reason for registering U is the chance it gives them to vote in one or the other party’s primary.

Most U’s don’t impress me as “spoilers” who vote for a primary candidate they think will be weak in November and therefore easier for their preferred candidate of the other party to beat, although I’m sure some of that happens.

U’s impress me as mostly "swing voters" who tend to go for "the person more than the party."

I'll end with a few things you might not know about The Tar Heel State.

NC has an undeserved reputation as some kind of far-right Republican state. Not true.

President Bush carried the state by landslide numbers in ’00 and ’04, but so did moderate Democratic Governor Mike Easley.

We have two R United States senators, but both houses of our state legislature are D controlled.

A very important thing to know about NC is it’s just what the Democratic Speaker of our House of Representatives Joe Hackney called it a few years ago: “a real ticket-splitting place.”


Anonymous said...

I am voting tomorrow. This is way too much fun!

Bill Ayers is back in the news. This time arrogantly standing on our flag. There is a picture and story circulating on several sites. Michelle Malkin has a good look at the story, and links to more information.

It may be Senator Obama had better cut his ties to this bomber that hates the USA.
Flag desecration of the day: Bill Ayers stomps on Old Glory
The picture has a date of ***2001***
"Guilty as sin, free as a bird, it's a great country" is one of the Ayer’s quotes.

Anonymous said...

One other fact about the Old North State: even our Democrats are pretty conservative for the most part. My area is represented by Senator Marc Basnight, a Democrat to be sure, but he would make a typical northeastern Republican look like a Socialist. And ticket-splitting is an art practiced by many of us in NC. I can't wait to see how Mr. Obama's campaign fares tomorrow.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

My dad is a conservative voter. He chooses from either party, and votes for the person.

His all time favorite political person is Zell Miller from Georgia. He told me Miller, a lifelong Democrat, spoke at the Republican convention. At that time Zell said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, it left me.”

That is how my father feels exactly, and how he looks at politics has influenced me, I am sure.

It was just a year or two ago, that I found out just how smart he is!