RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Now that North Carolina’s primary has moved up on the calendar, it’s playing a bigger role in determining which candidate will be on the ballot come November.
Carolina voters are receiving far more attention this political season, but despite that, many voters we spoke to are still unhappy. They either can’t find a candidate they can get behind, or have found one but constantly have to defend negative attacks.
It all just goes along with one of the most unusual presidential races in history.
When we asked voter Lacharo Owens who she was voting for, she said, “I don’t know yet, I really don’t, I absolutely don’t… I’m traditionally Democrat but this year I’m just not sure who I’m going to vote for in the primary.”
Two days from the primary and voters are not only narrowing down a candidate, they’re choosing which side of the aisle they want to support. Meredith College Political Science Professor David McLennan says it’s a sign of the times.
“They’re so frustrated with what’s been going on in Washington, they blame both parties for being, just basically for poor governing,” said McLennan.
“It’s been really messy and I think it’s going to turn people off and I hope that it doesn’t, but I think that it will, just the negativity that it’s bringing,” said Owens.
“I think the problem in this primary really on both sides has been there have been so many candidates, and just trying to stand out from the pack has probably led some to be a little more negative probably than they needed to be,” said Bob Landis, who voted absentee in Florida’s primary.
Negativity seems to be the culprit of many voters’ unhappiness and it’s caused not only by attack ads, but now clashes at political rallies. The recent punch thrown at Donald Trump’s event in Fayetteville, did not necessarily hurt Trump’s numbers, but it is worrying Republicans about support for the party.
“If that persists, that kind of violence and the kind of talk Donald Trump is infamous for I guess, that makes other Republicans a little nervous,” said McLennan.
While voters may be taking their time choosing their candidate, McLennan says they will do so wisely.
“I think North Carolinians really understand a lot about the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, so they’re pretty well, they’re in pretty good shape to vote,” said McLennan.
“It’s going to come down to, who I feel is telling the truth at the end of the day. It’s hard to determine that, but that’s what it’s going to come down to,” said Owens.
One good sign of North Carolina’s primary, there were record breaking numbers for early voting in some counties, proving this election is getting out the vote, no matter who folks are voting for.