Michael Bitzer

In what may be a landmark decision, a federal panel of judges has ruled all of North Carolina's congressional districts are illegal partisan gerrymanders.

They've banned the map from being used in this year's election and ordered the General Assembly to draw new districts by 5pm on January 24th.

Lawmakers are expected to appeal the ruling.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

North Carolina lawmakers have headed home for the summer, leaving behind a legislative session dominated by vetoes and court challenges. Guest host Michael Bitzer and a panel of reporters discuss a divisive six months in Raleigh.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Wisconsin redistricting case and consider whether partisan gerrymandering is constitutional.

In the past, the courts have deferred on answering whether partisan gerrymandering is constitutional or not for the simple fact that it inserts the judiciary into a “political question.”

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Two state senators, a Republican and a Democrat, talk about the lack of trust between Charlotte and Raleigh, how to rebuild that trust and what happens to HB2.

TUESDAY, NOV. 29

An update on the still-unresolved race for North Carolina governor. Votes are being challenged and there's a call for a recount. Then, what's ahead for education with a newly-elected North Carolina schools chief and the search for a new Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent.

In our final chat before Election Day Morning Edition host Marshall Terry talks about last minute campaign strategies, early voting results, and this week’s NAACP lawsuit with political analyst Michael Bitzer.

Early voter turnout data make it only harder to predict North Carolina elections for president, senate and governor.

On Thursday, a day on which early voting sites increased throughout the state, the only clear trend showed that unaffiliated voters have turned out in higher numbers than before, making a hard-to-predict election that much harder.

Recap Of McCrory/Cooper Debate

Oct 12, 2016

Political season is in full swing with debates almost every week. Of particular importance to North Carolina it  the gubernatorial debate between incumbent Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Roy Cooper, the state’s attorney general. That debate was Tuesday night and we take a closer look at what was said, the issues discussed, and how this debate might impact the outcome of this close race .

This week, we start off by discussing final early voting plans for 33 counties that couldn't reach their own agreement, including Mecklenburg. Then, what kind of impression did Hillary Clinton leave after her speech at Johnson C. Smith University? 

WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer of Catawba College talks maps and laps with WFAE's Sarah Delia. 

With Donald Trump’s newest attempt to ‘reboot’ his presidential campaign, speculation abounds as to whether this latest campaign shake-up, along with the candidate’s mea culpa in Charlotte, will have any profound impact on his poll numbers in the race towards November.

Most modern campaigns are, structured around core components: A candidate who has a compelling message, a campaign infrastructure that is focused, flexible, and deep, and an environment that is understood and worked within, not around.

A stage with a carefully chosen backdrop. Characters. Music. All choreographed to emphasize an all-important script.

No, we’re not talking ballet.

Or a play.

But it is a form of theater, one North Carolinians will have the chance to see (a lot) over the coming months.

This week, we start off by taking a look at maps, as a group of retired bipartisan  judges tried their hand at redrawing the state's congressional districts. Then we discuss the final lap of the 2016 presidential race. WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer of Catawba College talks maps and laps with WFAE's Sarah Delia.

This week, we focus on the race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina. Ads in the race began airing this week.  Incumbent Republican Richard Burr is seen as vulnerable in what is a close race. Democrats have made taking back the Senate a priority. WFAE political analyst Michael Bitzer of Catawba College discusses the race.

On the day that the state of North Carolina asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision regarding the state's voting law changes, especially voter identification and early voting, Mecklenburg County’s Board of Elections, on a 2-1 partisan vote, voted to cut 238 hours from early voting.

Much has been made about the role that white voters will play in this year’s election, especially those without a college education who are seen as the backbone of Donald Trump's support.

With the continuing division of the electorate based on a number of factors (partisanship, gender, age, race, and ethnicity), it is not surprising that the continued coalition-building by both parties are honing in on discrete groups that have traditionally been core groups.

The general election is a little less than 90 days away after, well, some would argue this election season started four years ago. Perhaps our next guest would agree. He’s political science professor Michael Bitzer of Catawba College, and also WFAE’s political analyst. We’ll talk to him every Friday through the general election. He spoke to WFAE's Marshall Terry.

Much has been made about the favorability, or more notably, the lack thereof, of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Along with all of the other aspects that the 2016 presidential election has "rewritten" in terms of how we normally expect campaigns to play out, this year’s election is shaping up as one of "who do the voters detest the least?"

Modern-day nominating conventions have become nothing more than ‘infomercials’ for both political parties, and this year's Democratic and Republican national party conventions were indeed that. However, both presented stark contrasts in terms of the product they were selling to the American electorate for purchase this coming November.  

As is tradition, the party out of power of the White House went first, and the one word that seems to sum up the Republican’s nomination of Donald J. Trump was anger.

A federal appeals court had some strong language in last week’s decision that struck down North Carolina's 2013 voting law overhaul. The judges concluded that lawmakers had deliberately passed the law with the intent of curbing voter turnout among African-Americans. 

Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, says the court should be "embarrassed" by that conclusion. He was one of the architects of the voting law.

Heading into the general election, I'm analyzing the voter registration pool for North Carolina at the beginning of each month, watching for key trends and development of certain voting groups.

With any general election, there are two aspects that most political analysts will start to evaluate: the composition of the possible electorate (‘who shows up’) and the behavior of that possible electorate (‘how do different groups vote?’).

Granted, North Carolina’s potential electorate can expand between now and November, but an early breakdown of the voter registration pool can give some hint of who is eligible to cast their ballots in the fall.