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Why are Republicans switching parties in N. Carolina?

A month ago, Aaron Whitecotton of Charlotte switched his party allegiance from Republican to Democrat so he could have "a voice" in the May 6 Democratic primary. First-grade teacher Amy Erb, tired of hearing about war, did the same. "I also like the stance the Democrats have on education now."

And lifelong Republican Mitch Kotula switched to unaffiliated so he could vote in the presidential primary. "I'll vote for the underdog to keep the Democrats slugging it out as long as possible," Kotula said. "I want to see half the Democratic Party hating the other half going into the general election."

For a variety of reasons, these three voters are among thousands of North Carolinians who changed political affiliations in the first three months of this year. Of the those, 25,296 registered voters switched to either Democrat or unaffiliated; just under 6,000 switched to Republican.

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