Rob Christensen,

Rob Christensen

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  • Durham Herald-Sun

Past articles by Rob:

10 things I’ve learned in 45 years of covering North Carolina politics

North Carolina may have some progressive instincts, but it still is socially conservative – a product of its rural and small-town heritage. → Read More

‘I gave my voice and vote for war’ – one leader’s conflicted role in WWI

Few in North Carolina history were more heavily involved in World War I than Josephus Daniels, whose family owned The News and Observer for 101 years. The Navy expanded under Daniels. → Read More

North Carolina was always less progressive than its reputation, this book suggests

A recently published book, “New Voyages to Carolina: Reinterpreting North Carolina,” suggests that North Carolina’s progressive streak has been overstated, and that at its roots it is conservative. → Read More

Saying goodbye to three men who wrote NC’s political history

Three prominent North Carolinians have died: Republicans Gene Anderson and Richard Morgan, and historian H.G. Jones. → Read More

Three GOP seats in Congress are up for grabs in an unusually unpredictable NC election

There are three competitive races for US House in North Carolina: Dan McCready vs. Mark Harris in the 9th, Linda Coleman vs. George Holding in the 2nd, and Ted Budd vs. Kathy Manning in the 13th. → Read More

Here’s a story you might read in the future if North Carolina votes for tax amendment

Here’s a glimpse into the future at some of the potential pitfalls that could face North Carolina if the tax cap constitutional amendment passes. → Read More

Florence will raise Roy Cooper’s profile, but that can be a double-edged sword

Emergencies give North Carolina governors a platform, as Hurricane Florence did for Roy Cooper. Hurricane Matthew helped Pat McCrory politically. Now Cooper needs to successfully manage the aftermath. → Read More

A job is more than a paycheck. A new ECU survey shows just how important it is.

The East Carolina University Labor Day report has some suggestions about why blue-collar workers are having such difficulties while unemployment is low. → Read More

A roots vacation helps you understand you’re just a small part of a much bigger story

A roots vacation to Norway helped me learn about my heritage. → Read More

What has Republican control of NC done for the economy? A new study has some answers.

A study sheds light on the North Carolina economy during a period former Governor Pat McCrory hailed as “the Carolina Comeback,” amid tax cuts that Senator Thom Tillis has said should be a model for the nation. → Read More

He was a political power broker who helped shape NC’s reputation for moderation

Bert Bennett, a Winston-Salem businessman who for 40 years was North Carolina’s most important Democratic Party power broker helping shape the state’s reputation for moderation, died Monday at age 97. → Read More

Political kingmaker Tom Ellis dies

Tom Ellis, the conservative political strategist who played an important role in the rise of Jesse Helms and Ronald Reagan, has died at age 97. → Read More

For NC's primary voters, there was no such thing as too far left or too far right

North Carolina’s primary on Tuesday reflected two powerful national trends that are coursing through the body politic — the continued political polarization in the age of Trump and the rise of the #MeToo movement. → Read More

Ronald Reagan Alzheimer's struggle subject of book

Peggy Grande, who worked as assistant to former President Ronald Reagan, has written a book to let people know that Reagan's post-presidential years were far richer than his battle with Alzheimer's. → Read More

Long before the civil rights movement of the '60s, he gave voice to the powerless

As editor and publisher of The Carolina Times in Durham, North Carolina, Louis Austin was a civil rights organizer. → Read More

NC natives are now outnumbered among voters. What does that mean for Tar Heel politics?

Is North Carolina undergoing the same process as Virginia, becoming a more moderate state and moving away from the deep red politics of much of the South? It's complicated. → Read More

The day he was killed, Martin Luther King Jr. was supposed to be in North Carolina

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 50 years ago in Memphis on April 4, 1968, which triggered riots and a National Guard deployment in North Carolina. → Read More

Revisit late novelist, who founded some of NC's most innovative schools

North Carolina novelist John Ehle's ideas led to the UNC School of the Arts, NC Governor's School and NC School of Science and Math. Ehle died Saturday, March 24, 2018, at 92. → Read More

Pennsylvania judges face threat of impeachment. NC Republicans have been more subtle.

North Carolina’s Republican legislators have considered changes to how judges are chosen, the size of courts, their districts, the length of their terms, the partisan nature of judicial races, and the number of judges. → Read More

When Billy Graham stepped into presidential and North Carolina politics

The Reverend Billy Graham made his presence felt in the South - including during the civil rights movement when he befriended Martin Luther King Jr - and in North Carolina, where he helped Richard Nixon and Bob Scott. → Read More