Early voting is underway in North Carolina for the March 3rd primary. Voters in Western North Carolina will have plenty of candidates from the major parties to choose from for the 11th Congressional District seat – 16 of them to be exact, 11 Republicans and 5 Democrats.
Political analyst Dr. Chris Cooper of Western Carolina University sat down with BPR's Matt Bush to go over the 11th district field, which is the third largest in terms of candidates for Congressional seats in the U.S. in 2020. Cooper says to distinguish themselves from one another in such a large field, each candidate is trying to 'pick a lane' to be more identifiable with voters. Cooper adds it seems likely, especially in the GOP primary with its 11 candidates, that a runoff may be needed to decide the nominee. If no candidate reaches 30% of the vote in the primary, then a runoff will be held between the top two vote-getters.
Cooper and Bush also talked about in their interview that you can hear above the results of the New Hampshire primary, and what candidates on the Democratic side seemed poised to do well in the North Carolina primary on March 3rd. They also discussed the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina, as well as the increasing numbers of voters registering as unaffiliated in North Carolina as opposed to registering with a party. Nine of the 16 counties in North Carolina where unaffiliated registered voters number more than registered Democrats or registered Republicans are in Western North Carolina.
TIME CODES FOR INTERVIEW
:25 - Thoughts on the results of the New Hampshire primary
2:04 - Which presidential candidates seem poisted to do well in the North Carolina primary
3:08 - A look at North Carolina's U.S. Senate race, and ads run for a Democratic candidate being funded by a PAC with Republican donors
5:21 - The primaries in North Carolina's 11th Congressional District, and how do all these candidates distinguish themselves from one another
12:14 - What is behind the increasing numbers of voters registering as unaffiliated as opposed to registering with a party