Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Is It Time for Republicans to Panic? The Winds Are Definitely Blowing...

The Democratic wave crashed into Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, and Republicans have begun the appropriate stage in a mid-term election year that's moving against them: in a phrase, "batten down the hatches."

In a leaked e-mail from the NC State House GOP political director, the "predictions" were that if North Carolina experienced a similar wave as the one that occurred in Pennsylvania, Democrats would not only capture the lower chamber of the General Assembly, but have super-majority status. Needless to say, Democrats are making hay of the e-mail.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Deep Dive into the Demographic Dynamics of NC's Districts: Volume 3--NC's State House

With the previous posts on congressional and state senate districts, I looked at the voters within each district and utilized five categories to classify: percentage of party registration, racial and ethnicity, regionalism, generations, and gender. This post wraps up the series with a deep dive into the North Carolina State House districts, all 120. Needless to say, with that many districts, I'll be putting the numbers and the percentage tables at the end of the piece, with analysis to follow. The analysis is only based on the demographic numbers and percentages; candidate quality (incumbent, challenger, etc.) is not taken into account.

The current map, as has been challenged through several lawsuits, shows the following district lines, with Republicans controlling 76 seats out of the 120 in the chamber:

Monday, March 12, 2018

Deep Dive into the Demographic Dynamics of NC's Districts: Volume 2--NC's State Senate

In the previous post, I looked at the dynamics of voter registration within North Carolina's 13 congressional districts. This post begins a two-part review and analysis of the state's General Assembly districts, first with the 50 districts in the state senate. With much of the attention being paid to NC's congressional districts in this "blue-moon" election cycle, the state legislative races will command state-wide attention, with the Democrats attempting to at least break the Republican's super-majority numbers in both chambers.

The map of the most recently approved upper chamber districts:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Exploring Evangelicals in 2016's Election: Partisanship Divided The Flock

I found this article on "A Quiet Exodus: Why Blacks Are Leaving White Evangelical Churches" to be an interesting exploration of the controversies surrounding evangelicalism in today's political environment.

In particular, Michael Emerson, co-author of "Divided by Faith", a study that explored the racial relations within the evangelical movement, said in the article:

"Everything we tried is not working. ... The election itself was the single most harmful event to the whole movement of (racial) reconciliation in at least the past 30 years,” he said. “It’s about to completely break apart.”
Much has been made about the support by most white evangelical voters to President Trump. In fact, one of the president's evangelical advisory board members said recently:

Friday, March 9, 2018

Deep Dive into the Demographic Dynamics of NC's Districts: Volume 1--Congressional

In a previous post, I noted that the dynamics that both Democrats and Republicans were going into with this year's mid-term elections would be based on both demographic, partisan, and regional aspects. This blog post dives deeper into the legislative districts, since the Old North State is experiencing is "once in a blue moon" election cycle with no marquee state-wide race, such as U.S. Senate or governor's contest (a reminder: NC governors are elected in presidential years, unlike many chief executives in the states).

In analyzing the congressional (this post) and state legislative districts (next post), I draw upon the March 3, 2018 data "download" from the NC State Board of Elections of the over 6.8 million active and inactive voters on the rolls. Using this information, I can draw out the various dynamics (party registration, race, age/generation, region, etc.) to analyze and see what trends are evident in the numbers of voters. Of course, these numbers will change/shift between now and November's general election, but this will set a baseline of sorts for future analysis of the voter pool.

First, looking at the state's congressional districts, which look like this (and may still change, thanks to a variety of lawsuits over the districts):

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Regional Bases and Dynamics of North Carolina's Political Parties

Over at Long Leaf Politics blog, Andrew Dunn took a look at where North Carolina Democrats were focusing their time for the upcoming mid-term elections: while Democrats hope that the suburbs would be battleground to break the Republican's supermajorities in the state's General Assembly, Andrew writes that "any scenario in which the Dems wield any real power statewide requires them to make inroads into rural North Carolina as well." 

In looking at the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections by the state's regional classification (as determined by the U.S. Office of Management & Budget for urban, suburban, and rural counties), while Democratic presidential candidates are strongest in urban counties (which represent 54 percent of the votes cast), the change from 2012 to 2016 showed a widening gap between the parties' presidential candidates in both suburban and rural counties:

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Generational Turnout in North Carolina

On Twitter, in a thread following the release of a new Pew Research Center analysis on the Millennial generation and the "generation gap" in American politics, I was asked about the turnout rates for that generation in comparison to older cohorts (Generation X, Baby Boomers, and Greatest/Silent generations). Having worked with data from the NC State Board of Elections, it's relatively easy to perform this analysis for the Old North State, based on elections since 2008.

In using voter registration files from the general election years and merging those records with data on voters who cast ballots in election years, the following analysis shows not just the turnout rates for each generation in an election year, but also each generation's composition within the voter registration pool and the actual electorate of voters casting ballots. The respective ages of each cohort in each election year are: