2020 Election

WUNCPolitics Podcast
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Jim Blaine is an unapologetic and self-identified political hack. He is also one of the most respected political operatives in North Carolina. He was chief of staff to the Republican state senate leader before starting his own consulting company in 2018. 

On this episode of the WUNCPolitics Podcast, Blaine discusses his personal political evolution, why Bernie Sanders makes him trepidatious, and why Republicans should be more worried about the dark horse in North Carolina's Democratic senate primary. 

 


WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

A judge this week reversed a settlement between the UNC System and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, making the fate of the mangled Silent Sam statue again uncertain. 

 Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

President Donald Trump is visiting North Carolina the night before next month's primary elections.

Bloomberg Makes Pitch To NC Voters

Feb 13, 2020
Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg surrounded by a crowd.
Paul Garber / WFDD

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is making appearances across North Carolina to mark the start of early voting for the Super Tuesday primary.

Erik Hersman / Flickr

North Carolina's primary elections are heating up with presidential candidates and their surrogates visiting as early in-person voting begins.

Democratic presidential hopeful and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg campaigned in North Carolina on January 3, 2020
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

A meeting with nearly 80 black pastors in Detroit. A speech before a black Democratic organization in Montgomery. A rally at a historically black university. A tour of Martin Luther King Jr.'s church. An early voting kickoff at an African American museum. All in the past two weeks.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has suffered back-to-back poor showings in the first two states to vote in the Democratic primary, and there are now serious questions about whether his "electability" argument is still plausible.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Morgan Jackson has been a Democratic political tactician in North Carolina for more than 20 years. He is one of Gov. Roy Cooper's closest advisers.

He doesn't plan on sleeping much in 2020, and he might skip dinner. 

On this edition of the WUNCPolitics Podcast, Jackson explains what's keeping him so busy this election season and why he thinks the Tar Heel State should have a larger role in the national primary process.

  


Caroline Amenabar / NPR

Sen. Bernie Sanders won narrowly, but can he expand his base? Pete Buttigieg did well, but in another largely white state. And the story of the night was Sen. Amy Klobuckar's third-place finish.

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Madeline Gray / For WUNC

If U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham is heading to the top of the primary mountain in a climate-controlled gondola, then Erica Smith, his main competitor for the Democratic nomination, is trudging to the summit, through a thicket, with one of those large walking sticks.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
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Problems with the Iowa Caucuses dominate discussion about the Democratic presidential contest ahead of the New Hampshire primary. And in North Carolina, we get a look at the candidates' campaign finance reports.

Becki Gray  of the conservative John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of the progressive NC Policy Watch dissect the presidential race and campaign fundraising.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

U.S Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer purportedly imagined a Democrat would have to lock himself in a "windowless basement" and fundraise nonstop to beat incumbent GOP Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina. But, Cal Cunningham's campaign office has plenty of natural light. 

Cunningham got the stamp of approval from the DSCC's national recruiters. His primary campaign has benefitted from lots of outside money, including millions from VoteVets. Though the candidate wants to see an end to dark money. 

On this edition of the WUNCPolitics Podcast, Cunningham discusses the money in politics, who's supporting him, and why he should be North Carolina's next senator. 
 


WUNCPolitics Podcast
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While U.S. senators (and our airwaves) were occupied with an impeachment trial, former Vice President Joe Biden picked up a couple of endorsements from notable North Carolinians. 

Becki Gray  of the conservative John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of the progressive NC Policy Watch weigh in on the questions of witnesses and impeachable offenses and the significance of endorsements these days. 


WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

State Sen. Erica Smith says she's the progressive, credentialed, electable choice, even if the Democratic Party establishment isn't backing her campaign for the U.S. Senate.

On this edition of the WUNCPolitics Podcast, Smith talks about her fundraising and who she likes in the still-crowded presidential primary race. 

She also discusses what role race plays as she tries to become just the third black woman ever to earn a seat in the world's greatest deliberative body.  
 


File photo of polling worker as she enters a polling place in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, April 24, 2019 as early voting began in the Republican primary election for the North Carolina 9th Congressional District, a special election that was forced after l
Chuck Burton / AP

As anyone in North Carolina knows, political ads - on television and social media - are everywhere right now.

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Republican candidate for governor (and current lieutenant governor) Dan Forest claimed that Planned Parenthood was created to, "destroy the entire black race," during a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. Then on Wednesday he compared abortion to slavery. 

This week in North Carolina politics also included an allegation of illegal coordination between a senate campaign and a friendly PAC, and a new order in a decades-old lawsuit over public education funding. 

Becki Gray of the conservative John Locke Foundation and Billy Ball of the progressive NC Policy Watch review the developments. 


WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

The North Carolina General Assembly convened for a single day this week. But no budget deal was brokered, and now we'll be without one at least until springtime. 

Meanwhile, incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis has made an unusual request to debate his Democratic opponent in the 2020 general election. 

Rob Schofield of the progressive NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the conservative John Locke Foundation discuss all that and what concerns they have about the voting machines being booted up for the primaries.  
 


Mecklenburg County Elections Director Michael Dickerson demonstrates a new touch-screen voting unit.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Michael Dickerson’s voice rippled with the excitement of someone showing off a new sports car.

"This screen will now come up with every ballot, every precinct, every ballot style on it, and I can tap that screen and that gives that person that ballot," he said, his voice trailing off to a hush full of wonderment.

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Eyes are on Iowa as the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates gather there for the seventh debate. The Iowa caucuses take place in less than three weeks. It's the first contest of the primary.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

The state superintendent made a $928,000 emergency purchase that stoked the fight with the state board of education over what tool schools should be using to evaluate reading skills. 

A Democratic state senator who Republicans found both annoying and essential officially stepped down to join the state Utilities Commission.   

And presidential candidates Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are spending millions on ads in North Carolina as Super Tuesday looms. 

Mitch Kokai of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch —  our political observers on the right and the left — assess the week's news. 


Photo: A Massachusetts voting station sign
Katri Niemi / Flickr

North Carolina Republican lawmakers made a last-minute plea on Friday to a federal judge as they seek to save a photo identification requirement to vote that had been set to begin with the March primary.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
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North Carolina state Rep. Holly Grange is competing against the sitting lieutenant governor, Dan Forest, to be the Republican nominee for governor in 2020. 

She says she is a "sensible" alternative —  one who can bring the fight to Democratic incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper. 

On this edition of the WUNC Politics Podcast, the military veteran, former lawyer, and current lawmaker discusses rising tensions with Iran, her chances against Forest and Cooper, and how she'd get Democrats and Republicans to agree on a state budget. 
 


WUNCPolitics Podcast
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A judge put North Carolina's requirement that voters show photo ID on hold for now. 

Duke Energy agreed to excavate millions of tons residue from burning coal - which will cost billions. 

And it's officially 2020!

Rob Schofield of the progressive NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the conservative John Locke Foundation catch up with the first big political stories of the new year.
 


WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

There was a flurry of political retirements (some spawned by redistricting), followed by a rush of candidate filings as the year came to a close in North Carolina. 

2019 was busy for the General Assembly, though the number of bills that became law won't show it. Republican lawmakers lost their supermajorities and the governor's veto got teeth. 

As for the decade: Republicans took full control of the Legislature, North Carolina emerged as a swing state, and there were court battles, court battles, court battles... 

Rob Schofield of the progressive NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the conservative John Locke Foundation look back. 


Listen to The NPR Politics Podcast here.

The impeachment of President Trump has dominated the news this week. But the political focus shifted to the Democratic presidential candidates Thursday night for their sixth debate, this one in Los Angeles and hosted by the PBS NewsHour and Politico.

The top seven Democratic presidential candidates will appear on stage in Los Angeles Thursday night in the sixth debate of the year.

The debate comes just one day after President Trump became the third president of the United States to be impeached by the House of Representatives.

Here's what you need to know:

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Rematches are shaping up for 2020 in some North Carolina legislative districts, while dozens of seats are still unopposed with a week to go for candidate filing. 

A new study came out saying the state needs to drastically increase spending on public schools — maybe by as much as $8 billion over eight years. 

The University of North Carolina agreed to give the Sons of Confederate Veterans the felled "Silent Sam" statue along with $2.5 million for upkeep. Now a civil rights law firm is going to court to try to block the settlement. 

Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch recap the week in state politics from the right and the left. 
 


vote graphic
Public Domain / U.S Air Force Graphic

North Carolina elections officials will decide whether to accept software and equipment alterations by a voting-machine manufacturer that recently got touch-screen ballot-marking devices certified for use in the state during the 2020 elections.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

We knew Republican U.S. Senator Thom Tillis was running for re-election, but he made a bit of news about impeachment when he filed. And Tillis is not running unopposed.

News & Observer reporter Dawn Vaughan joins the WUNC Politics Podcast to talk about the races for senate, congress, and lieutenant governor in North Carolina, and why she thinks the potrayal of a female newspaper reporter in the new movie Richard Jewell is, "a bunch of crap!"


A vote here sign in Chapel Hill
Amy Townsend / WUNC

North Carolina officially kicks off the 2020 campaign with the opening of candidate filing for hundreds of elected positions such as governor and U.S. senator, in the state legislature and on the courts.

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