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Presidential race squeezing out N.C. elections
State and local campaigns overshadowed
Published Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:40 am
by Stephanie Carroll Carson, N.C. News Service

RALEIGH –  As a swing state, North Carolina has been flooded with presidential campaign ads for months, and voter advocates say the airwaves are only going to get more clogged with campaign commercials.

Brent Laurenz, executive director of the North Carolina Center for Voter Education, says it’s making it tough for state races to get the attention they need for voters to make an educated decision.

”These down-ballot races can be completely overshadowed,” he said. “Come October, if you turn on your TV or radio, all you’re going to hear or see is ads for candidates for president.”

Laurenz’s group and the League of Women Voters hosted a forum last week to allow voters to learn more about the candidates for secretary of state and have the chance to ask questions.

Media outlets report that presidential campaigns already are purchasing ads in October, leading up to the election.

While all eyes are on the presidential race, Laurenz says it’s local elections that can have an immediate impact on North Carolinians.

“Down-ballot races often can set the tone for how the state functions and how it operates and what the overall vision is for the state,” he said.

According to a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling last month, 20 percent of voters are undecided on the N.C. secretary of state race, compared with only 5 percent of state residents undecided about the presidential election. Laurenz says that points to a lack of voter education about local candidates.

On the Net:
Public Policy Polling


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