To open the discussion, David O. Cook, MD, Chairman of the NCMS PAC Board of Directors thanked the attendees for their support of the PAC and outlined the successes of the NCMS’ advocacy efforts over the past two years. Then, Dave Horne provided some context by discussing the background of the 2012 elections. Following his introduction, Horne asked the panelists to discuss the elections from their perspective. What were the challenges facing both parties this election cycle?
Cone responded by discussing the situation for Democrats presented by redistricting. Now, he said, more districts favored Republican candidates. Cone followed up with the thought that Democrats are having trouble finding a message that reaches voters. Regardless of the fact that Republicans have controlled the General Assembly since 2010, Democrats are still seen as the status quo in North Carolina.
After that, Stewart talked about unaffiliated voter performance. This year unaffiliated voters are breaking towards Republicans two to one. The demographic that represents the largest portion of the change is probably white females. Mostly, that demographic voted with Democrats in 2010, but they seem to be leaning toward Republicans this year.
Towards the end of the discussion, both panelists talked about judicial races and the possible ramifications of the race for a seat on the Supreme Court. Audience participation seemed to peak during this portion. Mostly, the comments focused on how to evaluate candidates in judicial races. Horne suggested that one way to research candidates is to look at which groups have endorsed them. This way, you can make assessments on a wide spectrum of potential issues based on the suggestions of groups that you are familiar with.
Overall, the PAC Luncheon was a huge success with more than 100 physicians present. Attendees enjoyed good food, healthy dialogue and an opportunity for collegial discussion about the rhetoric of this year’s elections. Thank you to those that helped make the PAC luncheon possible. Hopefully, next year’s luncheon will prove to be equally entertaining.