Raleigh political students largely unaware of Tuesday’s special election

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – There were six people in an introductory political science class of 18 who knew Tuesday was an election day.

“How many of you would know that there is an election today if your professor hadn’t told you,” CBS 17’s Russ Bowen asked.


The same number of students at the Meredith College class knew why there was a special election. Students in the class ranged from 18 years old to 40.

Meredith College isn’t in District 9. Still, the race between Dan Bishop (R) and Dan McCready (D) has been highly publicized.

“I’m not surprised at all. The majority of the people I’m friends with have no idea what’s going on in the political world,” said Adair Melton.

Classmate Faith Ryan said she was like that in 2016 before she started paying attention.

“I kind of felt out of touch, and I felt it was more important than I had previously thought to be engaged — especially as a young adult,” Ryan said.

“I think to be an informed voter, you need to know what’s going on. And to pick a candidate, you need to be aware of what’s going on behind the scenes,” added Scout Burch.

The class did seem to understand why the race could be an indicator for 2020. The District 9 seat hasn’t been held by a Democrat since 1963.

“It would turn the tides if the Democrat wins,” said Amanda Alexander. The 40-year-old student was one of the few who said she was aware it was an election day.

The students said they think they’d be more aware if it was the 2020 general election. Both Democrats and Republicans are after the younger voters. However, this could be an example of the uphill battle for their awareness and to get them to polls.

“As a citizen, it’s how we can become involved and have our voices heard. And hopefully, it’s done the right way,” said Kately Clark.

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