Political wisdom in an auto-repair shop. This is 2020. | Columnists

“Four years ago, a Supreme Court vacancy arose under divided government and a lame-duck president as Americans were choosing his successor. Today, however, President Trump is again facing voters at the ballot box and North Carolinians will ultimately render their judgment on his presidency and how he chooses to fill the vacancy.”

It’s pretty clear, though it would be intellectually honest to just say “I stand with Trump. We’ve got the power. We’re going to use it, and there’s not much anybody can do about it in the short term.”

For or against him, at least we know where Tillis stands. But can it hurt him?

Minds made up?

North Carolinians, as you’re probably aware, have for the most part already made decisions on their votes for president.

Your mechanic, your hairdresser and your insurance agent know who they’re going to back.

But don’t take my word for it or judge solely on mushrooming yard signs. Ask Michael Bitzer, the chairman of the political science department at Catawba College, a respected poll watcher and clear-eyed observer. He backed that assertion by pointing to recent polling conducted at East Carolina University.

“Of those who answered that they intend to vote for either Trump or Biden, 96% responded that they have made up their mind already, with just 4% who answered that they are still open to changing their mind,” Bitzer wrote in an email.

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