Parties ready for Election Day wins
By Steve Herring
Published in News on November 1, 2010 1:46 PM
When the polls open Tuesday morning at 6:30, almost 15,000, or some 21 percent, of the county's eligible 69,785 voters will have already cast ballots in the mid-term election.
The polls will close at 7:30 p.m.
Local election officials are expecting a 30 to 35 percent voter turnout overall.
What that early-voting turnout will mean for Democrats and Republicans remains to be seen, local party leaders said this morning.
"I certainly believe that early voting helped," said Bronnie Quinn, chairman of the Wayne County Democratic Party. "People have an early chance to vote and that is good for democracy. I believe a lot of people will come out and vote for the Democratic Party. They may not like what has happened every time, but they will still vote for Democrats.
"I don't believe the polls. I just have to sit and wait. I don't always believe the polls -- (President Harry) Truman proved that. They are not always right."
Wayne County GOP Chairman Carroll Turner said that he did not attach any particular significance to the number of people who voted early. He also predicts a 30 to 35 percent turnout.
"I think it is going to be a big night for Republicans tomorrow night," he said. "I don't think it has anything to do with early voting. I think the majority voted who are going to."
Turner said polls are indicating that the GOP could gain at least eight U.S. Senate seats and 55 to 65 House seats. He also expects to see Republicans take control of both state chambers.
"I think we are going to make huge gains," he said.
However, Quinn said he thinks that both the state House and Senate are doing a good job and that Sen. Don Davis and Rep. Van Braxton work hard for the district.
Turner said reports he has seen over the past year indicate that people are leaving the Democratic Party in large numbers. Some are joining the GOP, but it appears that many more are re-registering as unaffiliated, he said.
While Democrats still outnumber Republicans, the independents and unaffiliated tend to be supporting the Republicans, he said.
He also expects that "a lot of" Democrats will vote Republican this year.
"I think, quite frankly, that in the past two years people have absolutely become scared to death, and I think the indebtedness of the U.S. is the main reason," he said. "They have seen government suddenly become much larger with the passage of the health care bill."
A large economic stimulus bill piled on even more debt without showing the promised economic improvements, he said.
"They feel the direction the country is going in is the wrong direction," he said. "Two years ago people voted for what they thought would be change, but they did not think it would be accelerated spending. The message the public is sending is that we want the spending spree curtailed."
Turner said people realize that the party that controls the U.S. House can control spending since that is where spending bills originate.
"I believe Tuesday night I will be happier than Bronnie Quinn," Turner said.
A victory cerebration will start at 7 p.m. at the GOP headquarters in downtown Goldsboro, he said.