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The Daily Tar Heel
View from the Hill

Off to the Races: Unaffiliated voters gain traction in North Carolina

Last week, the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation released a study showing trends in the state’s voter affiliation that could offer a preview of the upcoming Senate race.

The study showed voter affiliation statistics from 2008-2014, showing Democrats have seen negative growth of 104,162 from their ranks and Republicans have seen a loss of 4,534 voters.

The study also showed Libertarians gained 19,567 voters but 337,428 voters have registered as unaffiliated.

The change in unaffiliated voters could mean Senate candidates should appeal to them.

Another study by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics ranked North Carolina as the state fifth most likely to have its seat go to Republicans.

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., has the advantage of not having a competitive primary to worry about, allowing her to promote herself as a moderate.

But N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis might find himself in trouble. The latest numbers by Public Policy Polling show him tied with Tea Party favorite Greg Brannon.

If Tillis finds himself in a tough runoff with Brannon, he might risk being dragged to the right, which could make unaffiliated voters uneasy.

View from the Hill is a political blog by Daily Tar Heel staff writers. Any opinion expressed in it does not represent the Daily Tar Heel. Email the blog coordinator at dthviewfromthehill@gmail.com.

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