The presidential race has a lot of diversity to it, but so does the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina. But when it all comes down to it, everyone is chasing Salisbury homeowner Sen. Elizabeth Dole – and she wants to keep her seat.
Democrats have four men and a woman looking to take the nomination. On the Republican side it's incumbent Dole running against one candidate.
Early voter Bess Johnson said she hopes to see the primaries end with Dole being opposed by N.C. Senator Kay Hagen, a Democrat.
"I'd like to see a woman nominated, and I think that the lady will do well against Elizabeth Dole,” Johnson said.
So how strong is Dole, especially now in the primaries? Michael Bitzer is a political science professor at Catawba College in Salisbury. He said she'll be tough to beat on the Republican ballot, but that could change as November looms closer.
For now, Bitzer said the candidates are all known well close to home, but for most that's where it ends.
"They've really got to get statewide name recognition and that's why Hagen already is making commercials in the Charlotte market," he said.
Bitzer said the Democrat who stands out statewide will win out.
After the primaries, the long list of candidates will be cut to two.
Here are all the Democratic candidates running in the primary for the U.S. Senate seat: Kay Hagan, Duskin Lassiter, Jim Neal, Howard Staley and Marcus W. Williams. On the Republican side, Dole is opposed by Pete Di Lauro.