Early voting in North Carolina is upon us for the May 8 primary contests. Democrats and Republicans will be picking their nominees in federal, state and local races. But voters who are registered as unaffiliated will have a choice to make. Unaffiliated voters in North Carolina -- there are more than 1.5 million according to the N.C. State Board of Elections -- choose in which primary they want to vote.The choice among Independents seemed much more interesting just a few weeks ago when there was statewide intrigue in primary races on both sides of the aisle. Now, the race to watch might be on the Democratic ticket. Everyone who chooses a Democratic Party primary ballot will get to cast a vote for the party's candidate for governor, which has all the makings of a tight three-way battle. On the Republican side, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory pretty much has the party's nomination for governor locked up, but until recently, North Carolina seemed like it was going to get a say in who would be challenging President Barack Obama. On the heels of Rick Santorum's decision to suspend his presidential campaign, Mitt Romney is now the far-and-away presumptive nominee. Voters in N.C. who ask for a Republican Party primary ballot can consent to Romney or vote against him on principle -- neither vote really matters at this point. But don't tell Newt Gingrich that. The former U.S. House speaker maintains he'll be staying in the race and has hopes of a solid performance in the state just north of South Carolina and Georgia, his home state, both of which he won. And for any Ron Paul supporters out there, winning even a handful of delegates in North Carolina seems unlikely, but at least there's this to keep you entertained.
What's an unaffiliated voter to do in May?