Buncombe County Republican Party Chair Henry Mitchell submitted the following commentary piece to Xpress.
The AC-T article Mitchell refers to is “GOP Loses More Voters in Buncombe,” which reports: “Republicans lost more members in Buncombe County than Democrats in the last 5 years while unaffiliated voters increased nearly 25 percent, according to a report from an elections watchdog group. The trend in Buncombe County, North Carolina’s seventh-largest, is the same as in the state’s other urban centers. The GOP also lost a greater share of voters in Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford, Forsyth, Durham, and Cumberland counties, according to left-leaning Democracy North Carolina….”
Here’s Mitchell’s commentary:
“UNA VOTER NUMBERS CONTINUE TO RISE IN BUNCOMBE COUNTY” This would serve as a more accurate headline for a recent AC-T article regarding voter registration trends in Buncombe County. The article implies that Republicans are disappearing at a greater rate than Democrats. The truth is that both major political parties are seeing declines in their registration totals while unaffiliated are rising at double digit rates.
It is the belief of the BCGOP, while this decline is based on more than one issue, there is frustration among voters, in both parties, with the hyper partisan nature of our government. Polices and agendas originating from the extreme Left, seen as taking America in a direction opposite of what makes us an exceptional nation, is not an agenda more center leaning voters from either party can support. These actions leave us with the appearance of dysfunction and no middle ground, moving moderate voters to the UNA designation.
Buncombe County also reflects this premise. It is not as simple as Democrats vs. Republicans. It is, more accurately, a far left progressive agenda vs. traditional conservative values. While conservatives and moderates in each party may not agree on everything, there are a lot of them that no longer care, or vote, their affiliation, but cast their ballot based on their conservative principles.
We are seeing this trend throughout NC indicated by the current demographic of political power within our State government. Voters are moving away from their respective parties and moving towards conservative principles no matter their political affiliation. When given the choice to register as an unaffiliated, more centrist elements in both parties have incentive to do so, as NC is an open primary state making them able to vote for the side that best suits their principles.
Successful Republican candidates in NC have always understood the need to appeal to unaffiliated voters as well as moderate Democrats. We are out numbered based purely on registrations, and we must have those votes to win.
Under Democratic leadership, our great state acquired the dubious distinctions of having one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, the highest taxes in the South, and billions of dollars of debt. Voters want better than that and know NC can, and should, do better than that.
Republicans will motivate UNA voters with good policy, which inspires and rewards the hard earned success and efforts of our citizens, as well as reflecting their concerns of government’s role in their lives. This will serve as the backbone of the plan to motivate all NC voters. While attempts will continue to divide us, citizens who care about good policy and government that serves the people will be what unite us. No matter the letter on your registration.
Henry D Mitchell