by Brooke Medina
Vice President of Communications, John Locke Foundation
American voters are increasingly disenchanted with the men and women who have been elected to govern their interests both domestically and abroad. President Biden and Vice President Harris’ disapproval rates are both 52%; shamefully high by any standard. Congress’ is even higher at 68%. And who could blame voters for their current unhappiness?
Yet our chronic dissatisfaction is not healthy and it signals that things are not nearly what they should be, or even could be. Do you want better for today’s Americans? What about for the next generation? I know I do.
Tomorrow, Tuesday May 17th, the statewide primaries will finally take place after a two month delay. In December, the North Carolina Supreme Court pushed back the primaries from its original date of March 8th due to a legal challenge by Democrats who claimed the districts had been illegally gerrymandered. It’s worth noting that claims of gerrymandering have been part and parcel of North Carolina politics for decades, with the Democratic Party infamously gerrymandering the state in order to hold onto power at the legislature for about one hundred years.
Primary, voters have the opportunity to show their support to candidates who best reflect their values, perhaps in ways that they might not have an opportunity to do in November.
It wasn’t until fairly recently (the fall of 2010) that Republicans captured a majority in the legislature.
But before Democrats, Republicans, and an increasing number of Libertarians, square off in the general election in November, primary voters have the opportunity to show their support to candidates who best reflect their values, perhaps in ways that they might not have an opportunity to do in November, when the choices are much more limited.
We know that many North Carolinians are discontent with the direction of the country. When Locke polled voters across the state, 65% said they think our country is on the wrong track. It’s likely you feel the same way.
Writing for Carolina Journal, John Hood delves into the implications of this week’s primaries, noting, “most of our electoral contests will be settled in the next few days, not in the fall.” Given that it’s estimated only around 15% of voters will participate in this primary, how they choose to vote will have an outsized effect on who the rest of the electorate chooses from in November.
By voting in the primary election, you’ll have an increased opportunity to vote for candidates who best reflect your principles. Voting this week will give you a chance to put your own seal of approval on men and women you send to the state legislature, Congress, city councils, and courts. The wide field of candidates–409 running for State House and Senate districts–not to mention all of the judges, sheriffs, and city council members allow you to choose from many more than the binary choices you’ll be presented with this fall.
So, consider this a friendly, but urgent, appeal to participate in tomorrow’s primary. You can find your local polling place, and even view a sample ballot, by visiting the North Carolina State Board of Elections’ Voter Search.
After you’ve voted, I hope you’ll join my colleagues from The Carolina Journal as we livestream election night coverage from 7-11 pm tomorrow night. You can watch our coverage on the Carolina Journal YouTube channel and Locke Facebook page.
Remember, things won’t change until we demand better. Let’s not wait until November to begin doing so.