What to know for March 15 primaries


North Carolina primary election day is coming fast and here are the races you should be aware of.

The Connect NC Public Improvement Bond is very important for the WNC region. If the vote passes this bond will issue $2 billion to fund capital improvement. The PPP poling from March 13 the bond is likely to pass with “60% of the vote unless undecideds move against it en masse.”

“The bond is really going to help Jackson County. We are going to get a lion’s share of the revenue. Western will be able to build a new natural science building. It’s something that is needed if they want to keep getting nursing students and other science majors to come to Western. It is a nonpartisan issue. Both Democrats and Republicans support it. It will also give funds to State Parks and water and sewer infrastructure and improvement. There will also be money for our national guard,” explained Helena Dupree, member of the Democratic Committee in Jackson County.

The US presidential race has now come down to four presidential candidates for the Republican nomination: Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and John Kasich.
As for the Democrats, Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton continue to battle it out in each state.

Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton are still the clear frontrunners for both parties nationally and in North Carolina. According to the latest polls Trump is on average around 11 points ahead of Cruz . Trump so far also leads in delegates with 459 followed by Ted Cruz with 360.

Clinton is leading 20 points ahead of Sanders in the latest polls in North Carolina. she also has a big lead in delegates with 1,223 compared to his 574.  However, several hundred of Clinton’s delegate count is due to the super delegates which are not made final until the Democratic Convention in July.
[Super delegates are delegates handed out by elected officials of the Democratic Party. These can be democratic members of the House, Senate and governors.]

NC senator Richard Burr (R) is seeking reelection to his seat in the Senate. If he wins this would be his third term in office. The most notable opponent he would face if he were to get the nomination would be Deborah Ross, former member of the North Carolina House of Representatives. She served five and a half terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives.

The North Carolina Governor’s race will most likely be a close one. Politico ranked it as second in its top 10 Governor’s races of 2016. NC Governor, Pat McCrory, is running for reelection. He will be opposed by Democrat and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and Durham Attorney Ken Spaulding. Cooper was elected to office in 2000 and was elected to his fourth term in 2012. McCrory faces less than favorable approval ratings and has not raised as much money for his campaign as Cooper.  According to the latest PPP polling from February McCrory has a small lead over Cooper, 43% to 41%. Although McCrory has a 47% disapproval rating Cooper is largely unknown. Both candidates will face other candidates in the primary but are expected to win.

The NC Attorney General job is also up for grabs. The top candidates are republican and state senator Buck Newton and the democrat and state senator Josh Stein.


As of Wednesday, March 10, around 680 people had voted in the Cullowhee area during early voting. Early voting takes place at the Jackson County Recreation Complex for those in the Cullowhee area.


“If you don’t show up you can’t have your voice heard,” says WCU Political Science Department Head Chris Cooper. “There is considerable evidence that politicians pay attention to people, groups and geographic areas who vote. If you don’t vote, they will not pay attention to you.”