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The Daily Tar HeelTuesday, November 8, 19887
differ on effect of ooliitiical id
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By JOHN BAKHT
r,: Although recently interviewed
political analysts agreed that political
-polling is increasingly important, they
were unable to agree on the degree
:6f influence polls have had on 1988
Polls that show one candidate with
alarge lead late in the race may cause
'a' significant number of people to vote
for the leader, said Frank Biocca, a
journalism professor who has been
'conducting polls for USA Today.
'"The bandwagon effect short-circuits
'the kind of informed decision making
ypemteBideinit race little
By DENISE JOYCE
Although education has become a
major issue in this election, candi
dates for N.C. superintendent of
public instruction, Democrat Bob
,Etheridge and Republican Tom
, Rodgers, have received little attention
,in their bids for office.
(. The superintendent directly influ
ences the state public school educa
tional policies and directs the future
, of the system.
Decreasing the public school drop
,out rate and improving student
. achievement are at the top of Ethe
, ridge's agenda, he said in a telephone
Candidates woo influential swims vote
,By SUSAN HOLDSCLAW
J, With modern voters no longer
- making their political choices along
party lines, political parties must
work harder than ever to capture the
, a.ll-important swing vote.
. Merle Black, UNC associate pro
fessor of political science, said that
because there are no majority parties
any more, neither Democrats nor
Republicans can win the election
without appealing to independents or
.voters who have registered with the
About 45 percent of Americans
v ote straight Republican, while about
. 46 percent vote straight Democrat,
. according to Dudley Gwaltney,
, finance director for the N.C. Repub
lican Party. "Both parties are going
after the 10 percent .of people who
do swing," he said.
With registered Nj.f ( Democrats
By SANDY WALL
Attorney General Lacy Thornburg
has run his re-election campaign on
his record, while Republican chal
lenger Sam Wilson says he wants to
be harsher on crime in the race to
be North Carolina's chief law enforce
ment official and legal representative.
Thornburg's record includes a
"laundry list" of legislation he wants
passed, such as a crime victims'
compensation plan, an automobile
"lemon law" and a law to protect the
elderly from physical abuse and
neglect, Thornburg said in a tele
phone interview Monday.
Wilson's theme for the campaign
is "getting tougher on crime," said
John Carney, a communications
assistant for the N.C. Republican
Party in Raleigh.
Wilson and his campaign manager
were campaigning with Gov. Jim
Martin Monday and could not be
Students see election action
as liaisons on UNC campus
By LAUREN MARTIN
Nov. 8 may be just another day
for many students, but for students
active in campaign committees,
Election Day is their goal and the
end of months of hard work.
The Republican and Democratic
candidates for president, governor
and 4th District congressman all
have UNC students working as
campus liaisons for their
"The regular headquarters
realizes how important it is to have
young people and young leaders as
active parts of the campaign," said
Wayne Goodwin, president of the
UNC Young Democrats and co
chairman of Students for Bob
"They want us there; they want
to know what we think and what
our suggestions are," Goodwin
"1 feel we are very integrated with
the regular campaign," said Anna
Baird, chairwoman of Students for
Martin. "I was picked by the Jim
Martin committee in Raleigh, not
by the College Republicans."
The committee has a focused
you're supposed to have in a
But George Gallup Jr., president
of the major polling group the Gallup
Organization, disagreed. "The evi
dence, just by looking at poll results,
indicates that (leading) candidates
don't pick up any strength toward the
In fact, the trailing candidate
usually takes a gain in the polls, he
said in a telephone interview. For
example, Michael Dukakis' ratings
went up in the last stretch of the race.
That may be due to the compla
cency the leading campaign some-
"Those two issues go hand in
hand," Etheridge said. By improving
those areas, North Carolina could
become more competitive, productive
and professional in the future, he said.
Republican candidate Tom
Rodgers was not available for com
ment, but an official publication of
North Carolina Citizens for Business
and Industry discussed issues of his
According to the publication,
Rodgers endorses a strong emphasis
in vocational education and optional
schools, use of standardized tests to
outnumbering Republicans, Gwalt
ney said the swing vote was a
fortunate thing. "We're thankful they
don't vote straight party or else we'd
never win anything."
Rick Roldan of the Republican
National Committee agreed. "In the
state of North Carolina, they (swing
votes) determine almost every
Although statistics indicate the
number of people identifying them
selves as independents in political
elections has increased, Roldan said,
the political parties have not wea
kened. Swing votes tend to make a
party stronger because they present
a greater challenge to make the
parties reach out to get that vote, he
Gwaltney said the Republicans
looked at previous elections to
identify whom they should target for
reached for comment.
Carney said Wilson favored stiffer
sentences for drug dealers and the
death penalty for killing a police
Wilson has also proposed a "Drug
Free School Zones" measure. Under
its provisions, anyone caught selling
drugs on school property or within
1 ,000 feet of it would receive a
sentence of up to 30 years.
Thornburg, who has been attorney
general since 1984, said he wants to
request additional money from the
Legislature for advanced equipment
for state crime labs and for officers.
New communications equipment for
officers is also a priority, he said.
He also wants to enlarge certain
areas of the State Bureau of Inves
tigation. "I expect to, as a matter of neces
sity, expand the environmental sec
tion," he said. That area needs
"With people so busy with
school and work, members are
still truly giving of themselves
for the causes they believe in."
mission: to get absentee ballots to
students who have shown an
interest in Jim Martin or the
Republican Party, she said.
"Main headquarters feels that is
very important because absentee
ballots have made the difference in
elections in the past," Baird said.
Students for David Price work
on many projects, said chairwoman
Sandy Rierson. "We work on
getting literature explaining David
Price's qualifications out to every
body. We work at the phone bank
at Orange County Democratic
Headquarters. We help get
"The bandwagon effect short-circuits
the kind of informed decision making
you! re supposed to have in a
democracy" Frank Biocca
times adopts, said Phillip Meyer,
UNC journalism professor.
Gallup, and others who call the
bandwagon effect a myth, point to
the election of 1948 in which polls
identify potential dropouts and an
age-appropriate AIDS curriculum.
Also, Rodgers wants to set a
timetable for teacher salaries to reach
the national average and install
incentives for critical areas of
Etheridge said he wanted to build
stronger partnerships with the bus
iness community and parents.
"All of us are going to have to work
together because our schools are the
key for success," Etheridge said.
Etheridge is interested in dealing
with parents' lack of involvement in
their children's education and inter
national competition for brainpower.
mailings, candidate visitation and
In addition, they try to focus on
voter education. Because many state
Republicans have just moved to the
area and tend to be younger than the
Democrats, they tend not to vote for
the General Assembly races, Gwalt
ney said. In response, the party tries
to educate North Carolinians on state
Senate and House matters.
Meanwhile, Gwaltney said,
"Democrats tend to do a better job
of voting from the White House to
He attributed the Republicans' lack
of participation to the fact that until
recently, Republicans never had
candidates for the state legislature.
But with more Republicans running
for office and Republicans out
registering Democrats in the state,
Gwaltney predicted increased polit
ical action for the Republicans.
Willson in race foir
additional people and more state
funding, Thornburg said.
Thornburg also wants to expand
the consumer affairs division and the
drug enforcement area, because both
areas are overburdened.
Thornburg is a native of Mecklen
burg County who served three terms
Court candidates run Sow-key
By JASON BATES
Although the race for the state
Court of Appeals is almost over, most
North Carolina voters know little
about the race because the candi
dates, Republican Judge Robert Orr
and Democratic Judge John Friday,
are not allowed to discuss the issues.
Hubert Whitaker, Orr's campaign
manager, said the Code of Judicial
Conduct restrictions call for a low-
together ads and literature. Well
call registered Democrats and give
them rides to the polls we're very
Goodwin said he is amazed at
how much students do. "With
people so busy with school and
work, members are still truly giving
of themselves for the causes they
He said he was especially pleased
with the Democratic rally at UNC,
which brought leading Democrats
to campus. "That was a big
predicted a landslide in favor of
Republican candidate Thomas
Dewey. President Harry Truman was
re-elected in a surprising upset,
But the 1948 election doesn't refute
Although Etheridge has fewer
campaign funds and is considered the
underdog, he said he was pleased with
his campaign this year.
"We've got low funds but we do
have a message. We're ready to roll
up our sleeves and go to work," he
Most North Carolinians usually
vote according to their party on
education issues, Etheridge said.
"We offer alternatives," he said. "I
don't mind saying that I think the
Republicans have an awful education
program this year, and historically,
their record is bad."
At the same time, Republicans tend
to vote more along party lines than
Democrats, he said.
Democratic candidates mainly
work to appeal to those who are likely
to deviate from party lines, said John
Dean of the Democratic voter par
ticipation office in Washington, D.C.
"They craft speeches, appearances
and overall media attention toward
these people," he said.
Black and Gwaltney said the swing
vote was not just part of a political
cycle but a permanent institution.
Although Dean acknowledged that
the frequency of swing votes had
increased since the late 1940s and
early 1950s, he wouldn't predict how
important it would be in future
elections. Instead, he said it would
depend on the issues and the candi
dates themselves. "There are just too
many variables," he said. V
in the N.C. General Assembly and
16 years as a Superior Court judge.
Wilson, a native of Charlotte,
practiced law there for 10 years before
becoming legal counsel to Martin.
Earlier this year, Wilson was named
chairman of the N.C. Parole
key, low-visibility campaign.
Campaign workers for Orr have
gone to almost every newspaper
across the state in attempts to get
some coverage for their candidate,
Whitaker said in a telephone inter
view. Orr is beginning to receive some
coverage, but it's not clear how
thorough the publicity is, he said.
Friday said he was very pleased he
received the endorsement of R.A.
Hedrick, chief justice of the Court of
Hedrick said he was voting for
Friday because he "is an outstanding
judge and is eminently qualified to
ducatoom) o vital
black students, Deaders say
By STEPHANIE VON ISENBURG
UNC's black students have become
aware of the issues concerning them
as individuals in Tuesday's election
rather than campaigning as a group
for a candidate, black student leaders
Black students took advantage of
forums such as those with represen
tatives from the Democratic and
Republican parties to inform them
selves of the elections, said Stephanie
Beard, secretary of the Black Student
Movement (BSM), a campus group
that has no political affiliations.
"Students have taken an interest,
but it's not important enough to them
to become involved with a certain
candidate," said freshman BSM
member Mark Bibbs.
The issue concerning students most
is education, especially financial
assistance through loans, grants and
scholarships, said Bibbs and BSM
Vice President Tonya Blanks.
State candidates are proposing
more funding for black colleges and
the bandwagon theory, Biocca said.
"Those surveys (in 1948) were in some
isolated magazines and a few elite
newspapers, and that was before
All experts agree that polls mean
big political business. A candidate's
standing in polls often determines
who will contribute and how much.
"Contributors don't want to back a
loser," Meyer said.
In the primaries, polls influence
how people vote to a much greater
degree. Supporters of a primary
candidate who is far behind in the
polls may vote for the front-runner
Campaigns use media
to inform voting public
By MICHAEL SPIRTAS
The most accurate quote in the
presidential campaign may be
"The medium is the message,"
experts say, because the media is
by far the dominant means of
bringing the campaign to the
"All events are media events.
There isn't any way around it,"
said David Sander, press aide for
Vice President George Bush. Print
and broadcast media are the best
tools the campaigns have to
convey information to the voting
public, he said in a telephone
The campaigns and networks
use each other to serve their own
means, Sander said. This mutual
manipulation occurs because all
the parties want to project a
positive image, he said.
Seymour Lipset, a visiting scho
lar at the Russel Sage Foundation
in New York City, said the close
relationship that developed
between the press and the cam
paigns was inevitable. "If it's news
they've got to cover it," he said.
But while most people get
campaign information from the
media, the public is highly suspi
cious of them, said James Taranto,
a public relations associate at the
Heritage Foundation in Washing
ton, D.C. The media's treatment
of vice-presidential candidate Dan
Quayle was one situation where
the media was perceived as being
overly aggressive, he said,
r; 'After ' the media thoroughly
Both men earned their law degrees
The attorney general's race does
not attract much publicity, so many
people may vote along party lines,
Carney said. Although Democrats
outnumber Republicans in North
Carolina 2 to 1, Wilson has expressed
be on the court."
Friday also received the endorse
ment of Alan Hicks, his Democratic
primary opponent. "My support of
Judge Friday is simply because of
party affiliations," Hicks said.
Orr has been endorsed by the
North Carolina Association of Edu
cators, the North Carolina Academy
of Trial Lawyers and the North
Carolina League of Conservation
Karen Garr, president of the
NCAE, said Orr is simply the "better
candidate." The NCAE interviewed
all the candidates and decided Orr
"The only way you can be informed is
to actually go out and find out what the
issues are and then make your
decisions" Stephanie Beard
more financial aid for black students,
but presidential candidates have
sidestepped black issues for fear of
being labeled bigoted or racist, Beard
But UNC Young Democrats and
College Republicans members say
their candidates address black issues.
Democratic Gov. Michael Dukakis
wants to provide opportunity for all,
regardless of race, said Philip Sheri
dan, vice president of the Young
Democrats. Bill Taylor, chairman of
the College Republicans, said Vice
President George Bush has similar
goals in wanting to keep discrimina
to prevent any other candidates they
dislike from winning. For example,
Republican supporters of Jack Kemp
might have voted for George Bush
in primaries to prevent Bob Dole
The polls that aren't simply head-to-head
measures of who's winning
have more social value, most analysts
say. "Through survey research we tell
candidates how the public reacts to
what they say," said Tom Riehle, an
analyst for Peter Hart Research.
"Polls enhance the process tre
mendously," Gallup said. "They get
the voters to the leaders."
investigated Bush's running mate,
the public saw the press as "too
big for its britches and . . . too
arrogant," Taranto said.
The media tend to be biased
generally in a liberal direction, he
said, but Bush's lead in the polls
is evidence that voters still make
their own judgments. Enough real
information has reached the voters
to cause them to favor Bush,
But Tripp Jones, a Dukakis
press aide, said the media has been
Because the election is about the
economy, peace and prosperity,
no media bias will seriously alter
the outcome, Lipset said.
The use of "sound bites" on
network news programs has
altered the nature of the campaign,
Jones said. The power of the
sound bite can be both frustrating
and rewarding to the campaign,
But Jones argued against recent
statements from various media
officials that sound bites are what
the public wants to hear.
Taranto said the nightly net
work news broadcasts, which
typically contain 22 minutes of
news, have become more super
ficial because of time constraints,
but that when used properly,
sound bites can be effective.
Jones said the media's recent use
of longer interviews with the
candidates was a fair way to allow
the presidential hopefuls to project
their message to the public without
confidence that Gov. Martin's pop
ularity will help him win the attorney
general's seat. "There's a very good
chance he can pull it out," Carney
Thornburg said he was confident
he would win a second term. "It's
going very well," he said.
has a better background and is more
careful in reaching decisions that are
important to the NCAE, she said.
The NCAE and Orr share a
genuine interest in public schools,
Garr said. Orr also attended all the
NCAE meetings across the state this
fall, she said.
John Runkle of the N.C. League
of Conservation Voters said, "We
find Bob Orr's overwhelming qual
ifications, his broad experience and
his demonstrated commitment to the
environment compelling. Bob Orr
will bring a sympathetic ear to the
tion out of society.
Students who are interested in the
election are interested because the
issues affect everyone, Blanks said.
"The only way you can be informed
is to actually go out and find out what
the issues are and then make your
decisions," Beard said.
Most black students know every
vote will count because this election
will be close, Bibbs said.
Not voting at all is like giving the
other side the advantage, Beard said.
"So many things that we depend on
are issues being presented."