Like the crowded fields for Congress, there's been a spike in the number of contested primary races for the North Carolina General Assembly.
There are 81 contested House and Senate primaries Tuesday, compared to the 51 recorded for both the 2006 and 2008 primaries. The largest increase has been in the Republican primaries: 47 this year compared to 22 two years ago.
Longtime state political researcher John Davis attributes the increase to the heightened interest in politics in Raleigh by conservatives unhappy with what's going on in Washington.
Davis says the increase runs counter to conventional thinking that the number of primaries fall as once-a-decade redistricting nears. That's because voting habits are usually predictable by the end of the decade.