CHARLOTTE, NC - With all the hype over Super Tuesday, some North Carolina voters are left wondering if the presidential nomination will be sewn-up by the time our March 15th primary rolls around.
Political science expert Dr. Michael Bitzer said if Super Tuesday primaries go as expected - with landslide wins for Trump and Clinton - it could have a huge impact on voter turnout here in the Tar Heel state.
"The big question is can a Cruz, Rubio, or Kasich supporter go into the voting booth and legitimately say 'my guy has got the candidacy. He’s got a chance' if he hasn't won previously to North Carolina,” said Bitzer.
He said that would be a hard sell for voters, especially if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton dominate Super Tuesday states.
"I think the likelihood is most North Carolinians will look at Super Tuesday and say if Trump wins everything, we need to get behind him."
The North Carolina legislature tried to avoid just that when it moved the primary two months earlier from May to March. But Bitzer said that didn't really pan out this time around.
“I don't think anyone could have predicted the Trump phenomenon when the legislature decided to move.”
But here's where it gets interesting. Some republicans - including leaders in Washington - said they won't let Trump win the nomination without a fight. That means possibly changing what the ballot looks like this November.
"The senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has said if Trump is our nominee, we're going to tell our folks running for the senate this fall like Richard Burr to cut the top of the ticket off and run as your own man."
Bitzer said if republicans change the way the ballot looks like this November, it could throw off folks who are used to voting a straight ticket.
As for the March 15th primary, if it's the landslide polls are predicting, he said that could mean fewer folks going to cast a ballot in North Carolina.