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WRAL and News & Observer Join Forces to Help Voters

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RALEIGH — As Spring approaches so does a major day at the polls. May 5 is Primary Day, and the major statewide race this year is for the US Senate seat currently held by Republican Lauch Faircloth.

Between now and May, WRAL andThe News & Observerwill be reporting on the candidates and issues that matter most.

It's "Your Voice, Your Vote".

Many NC voters will be thinking about such issues as crime, education, welfare abuse, and social security woes. WRAL-TV5, The News and Observer and a coalition of other television stations and newspapers statewide have polled 1,000 state residents about their concerns and fears.

The goal of the Your Voice, Your Vote partnership is to get political candidates talking about the issues most important to constituents.

John Edwards, a Democratic US Senate candidate, says he is concerned about one area in particular.

This week, Your Voice, Your Vote took citizens' concerns to nine candidates for Faircloth's Senate seat. Crime is at the top of the list of concerns. Of those polled, 84 percent said reducing crime should be a top priority.

There is a major irony regarding crime. Concerns are growing, even as the crime rate is falling. Democratic candidate Mike Robinson says that might be because crime gets so much attention.

Educational concerns are also a high priority item. An overwhelming majority of respondents, 80 percent, said improving public schools should be a top priority.

Most respondents expressed concern about their financial security.

Protecting social security was viewed as a top priority to 81 percent of those polled.

Much concern was expressed about taxes and the IRS by 68 percent of those polled. Making the IRS efficient and friendly is a top priority. Republican Senate candidate Leonard Plyler says he thinks the IRS can be run much more efficiently.

Between now and the primary election, Your Voice, Your Vote will provide the public with ongoing information about where the candidates stand on the issues, and why they want to be elected to the Senate.

Senator Faircloth says he has done what he promised to do.

There are two candidates facing Senator Faircloth for the Republican nomination. Seven candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Look for more about the mood of North Carolina voters and the poll in Sunday's N&O.