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Politics

More incumbents face challenges in today's primary election

http://66.225.205.104/JR20100504.mp3

As primary election polls open today across North Carolina, an unusual number of incumbents face challengers. Seven members of the U.S. House in North Carolina face a challenge from members of their own political party in today's primary election, compared to just two during the 2006 mid-term primaries. Long-time North Carolina political researcher John Davis says voters are frustrated with the recession and the way President Obama has handled the economy and health care. "But right now they can't punish Obama - he's not running," says Davis. "So look for them to vent their frustration on the Congress." Davis says that discontent is trickling down to the state level, too, where more than 80 members of the North Carolina House and Senate are in contested primary races. Republicans, in particular, are facing twice as many challenges from inside their own party compared to 2008. That's according to an Associated Press analysis. State lawmakers may not be responsible for the things most angering voters - like unemployment and foreclosures - but Davis says incumbents always take the blame. The health care and finance reform bills may be too complicated for people to really understand, says Davis. "All I know to do is vote out whoever's in, if I'm frustrated with the direction of the state and nation," Davis adds. "And that's more of what's going on." Primary election polls close tonight at 7:30 p.m.