Local reaction to vice presidential debate

Opinion polls suggest North Carolina will back President Bush, but some local Democrats say Tuesday night's debate could help change that outcome.

New Hanover County Democrats gathered at Wilson's to watch the face off between Sen. John Edwards and Vice President Dick Cheney.

For local democrats especially, this was a treat since so many of them know Edwards personally, from his trips here as a politician, and as a homeowner on Figure Eight Island.

Despite the addition of Edwards as his running mate, polls show Sen. John Kerry trailing President George W. Bush in North Carolina. But at Tuesday's gathering at least there's optimism that will change.

State Representative Thomas Wright says he thinks the debate did a lot to sway people's opinion, and North Carolina could be a surprise come the November election.

Reaction was more divided at a debate watching party on the campus of UNC-Wilmington. Both major parties have large organizations led by students.

These organizations made sure they had a presence in the viewing room at the Student Union Tuesday.

Some students had to watch the debate as an assignment. Others just wandered by and stopped to watch.

The debate between Edwards and Cheney was their only encounter of the campaign. Kerry and Bush will debate again on Friday night.