Local Politics

Both parties seek advantage in rush of early voting

Posted October 19, 2012

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— Democrats took the announcement that Mitt Romney's campaign would back off spending in North Carolina with a grain of salt Friday.

"I think this is a head fake. I think they are pretending to leave North Carolina," Brad Woodhouse, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, told CNN. Woodhouse said the Romney move is a ploy to discourage potential Democratic voters.

After a record first day of early voting that saw more than 150,000 ballots cast statewide, both parties tried to spin the numbers in a positive light. NEW My Ballot logo My Ballot: Compare candidates side-by-side

The Romney campaign announced Thursday it would move resources and key senior staff to other states, including chief North Carolina spokesman Robert Reid. A Romney campaign official says it's becoming more confident of a North Carolina win next month.

The most recent Gallup poll shows the Republican leading President Barack Obama by seven points, 52 percent to 45 percent, among likely voters. Other polls have the race in a dead heat with less than three weeks until Election Day.

"I think they have a small advantage in the most recent polls, Republican-leaning polls," Woodhouse said, but he believes North Carolina is far from a sure thing for Romney. 

Historically, early voting has favored Democrats, but observers say that may not be the case in 2012. "Republicans are not going to get steam-rolled like they did in 2008," said David McClennan, a political science professor at William Peace University. "Republicans learned from that. They are not going to let it happen again."

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The majority of those who came out to vote on Thursday were registered Democrats, according to the State Board of Elections. Registration does not determine how any individual votes, however. 

ABout 47 percent of those who voted Thursday were registered Democrats and about 35 percent were registered Republicans. Unaffiliated and Libertarian voters made up the rest of the pool.

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, agreed. 

"Democrats dominated early voting in 2008 ... (and) they barely beat us in 2008," he said. "I don't think the Democrats have the enthusiasm they did four years ago. We do," he told a crowd at North Carolina State University.

Romney staffers told WRAL News they have no intent to close any of the 24 campaign offices across the state, and they will continue to push voter participation.

More than 350 one-stop voting sites opened across North Carolina on Thursday, and scores more will open next week to give people opportunities to cast ballots before Election Day. In 2008, 55 percent of all ballots cast in the state came from early voting.

After one day of one-stop voting, 223,177 votes have been cast in North Carolina. That includes those mailed in from military and U.S. citizens outside the state and others who chose to vote via mail. The total makes up about 3.4 percent of registered voters in the state.

The State Board of Elections also tracks voters by gender, county and race.

The most populous counties – Wake, Mecklenburg and Guilford – saw the highest rate of voter turnout on Thursday. More than 17,000 people cast ballots in Wake County and more of them were women than men. 

While the overall turnout favored Democrats, 31 counties saw registered Republicans outnumber Democrats.


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  • unc70 Oct 19, 2012

    One thing you should remember regarding the consulate in Benghazi is a fact revealed by GOP on television in an open Congressional hearing. The consulate and annex contained a top secret CIA operation -- still considered top secret in spite of the stupidity and carelessness of Rep Issa, et al. Even though the operation has now been discussed by GOP House members, it is still considered secret and off limits for discussion by the US Government.

    Sometimes it is more important to not say something, to leave things deliberately vague, than to endanger those associated with these secret activities. Just something else you should consider.

  • unc70 Oct 19, 2012


    The Republican Party Platform not only is against all abortions without exceptions, but supports the "personhood" amendment giving full 14th Amendment rights to the "unborn" from the moment of conception. This not only criminalizes all abortions as murder, it also makes illegal most forms of birth control and much more. (not to mention raising various paradoxes about citizenship - where conceived vs born). Ryan and most House Repubs have repeatedly supported such measures, Ryan is very much in favor on record, and Romney had strongly supported these positions on abortion and personhood until the first debate when he tried to appeal to more moderate voters. Here are links from both sides on these issues:



  • storchheim Oct 19, 2012

    monami, I'll give you the point that it might not matter what he called it on the day. The problem I have is that he continued to insist it was a response to the film for days afterward. Really, claiming that the rebels changed their minds partway through their savagery and decided all at once to SAVE the Americans? Aren't you even a little insulted by that lie? A 5 year old wouldn't buy it!

    The other point though is, he was NOT waiting for facts, he was in front of the cameras, making statements about what happened. No one's trying to make it seem that he wasn't waiting, because he wasn't in fact waiting.

  • storchheim Oct 19, 2012

    Still waiting to hear about the banned and restricted birth control, and who's behind it.

  • unc70 Oct 19, 2012


    I am never absolutely certain that I am right, though I am rarely wrong for long. Just because I can prove that other theories are incorrect does not by itself prove that mine is correct. But I understand the prohibition on the error of false humility.

    Whether it is politics, sports, economics, financial markets, history, or anything else, I am very careful what I post here and on other sites. We are each allowed to have our own beliefs, but not our own facts.

  • TVs_Deceit Oct 19, 2012

    piene2: "Of course he will" honey.. don't you worry about a thing.
    Everything's going to alright.. Obama will be back at breaking GWB's golf game records while in office before you know it.

  • piene2 Oct 19, 2012

    "Get a grip everyone. Regardless of what happens in NC, Obama will win the election.

    Of course he will. A few isolated pockets of malcontents will not change that.

  • miyata Oct 19, 2012

    you liberals read what ever you want into the Libya incident. But you cannot change the fact that 4 Americans were murdered on United States soil...harmstrong4

    That's very true and also very unfortunate. However I do believe there is one candidate who is more likely to make the people who did it pay for what they did. With their own lives if that's what it comes down to.

  • miyata Oct 19, 2012

    Furthermore, I find it sad that so many Americans think that it is just ok to be lied to, after all others lie. When did two wrongs make a right?...atozca

    Nope, not saying it's ok to be lied to. I'm saying don't pick and choose when the lie is ok. If you call out one then call out the other. Don't just make it sound like this is the first time it has happened becuase it suits you. Isn't that sad as well?

  • miyata Oct 19, 2012

    LOL, I don't know anyone who doesn't support a woman having a choice over what happens to her body. Republicans just believe that she should pay for her choices. Do you think that taxpayers should? If so, why?..atozca

    oh, so is that what Roe v. Wade was about all this time? For the woman to pay for the choice she makes? And here I thought it was to make her choice legal. Isn't that what the Romney/Ryan ticket are against?