Presidential nominees see N.C. as critical, battle ground state in upcoming election

Presidential candidates battle over North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Experts say North Carolina could be a critical state in terms of the election this year more than ever.

“For Republicans they have to have North Carolina in their win column," Dr. Michael Bitzer, Political Science Professor at Catawba College, said.

He says that’s why President Trump will make his 14th presidential visit in North Carolina this week.

“North Carolina being part of the south, really the Republican base for presidential votes and electoral votes is in the south," he said.

Former Vice President Joe Biden will also head to the Queen City this week. It will be his first visit to North Carolina since the primary.

“If Democrats can crack that Republican south, peel off Virginia, peel off Florida, peel off North Carolina, then it is extremely difficulty for Republicans at the presidential level to be able to secure the White House," Dr. Bitzer said.

Voters in Charlotte say they understand the importance of casting their ballot.

“That’s the advantage of living in the U.S.," one voter said. "We have the opportunity to do that. Not all countries do.”

According to polls, more than 90% of North Carolinians know who they are voting for.

Still some are trying to decide.

“Biden and Trump are so drastically different," another voter said. "I wish there was a happy median or in between but we don’t have that, so just trying to figure that out.”

A contested outcome is a concern for some.

“Nobody knows what’s going to happen with the economy and with everyone’s reaction socially so I think what we need to do is support eachother no matter what," one woman said.

Dr. Bitzer says if the margins of victory are small, it is a possibility.

“But again it’s 2020 don’t try to predict anything," he said.

Dr. Bitzer also said about 69% of registered North Carolinians typically vote, and he expects voter turnout to rise this year. He says of course we won’t know how much it will rise until November.

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