Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Trends Continue to Hold in NC's Absentee Ballots for 2014 General Election

It's been a few days of ballots being mailed out to North Carolinians to vote and then return their ballots, and some of the notable trends that we saw early on are continuing within the 11,597 ballots requested and the 958 ballots returned and accepted so far (as of 9-18-14).

First, the requested ballots and their breakdowns:

Registered Democrats continue to be a plurality of the requests (41.2%), while registered Republicans are 36% and registered unaffiliated voters are 22.4%.  This continues a trend that traditionally runs counter to what we have seen in the past when it comes to mail-in absentee ballots: registered Republicans were traditionally the plurality of requests and returned/accepted, while registered Democrats have been the party which uses in-person absentee balloting.

If we continue to see this trend go into the next two weeks, there may be cause for concern on the GOP side regarding the ever-important "enthusiasm" to voting, while Democrats can look with some relief that indeed, their voters (if these registered Democrats are true Democratic voters) are energized and eager to show up and vote (in this case, mail in their vote).

Women voters are 55% of the requested ballots, and within this group, Democrats are 45%, Republicans 35%, and unaffiliated are 20%.  At 45% of the requested ballots, men are 38% registered Republicans, 36% registered Democratic, and 25% registered unaffiliated.

The average voter age is 63 years old, with whites making up 82.6%, black voters at 12.1%, and all others at 6%.

Among returned ballots that have been accepted:

  • registered Democrats are 45.5%
  • registered Republicans are 35.8%
  • registered Unaffiliated are 18.5%
  • white registered voters are 81%
  • black registered voters are 14.3%
  • female voters are 51.9%
  • male voters are 47.8%
Again, if registered Democratic voters can continue to be the plurality of early votes via mail-in requests and accepted ballots, we may see a trend that others need to watch very carefully in this year's competitive election, especially for the U.S. Senate seat in the old North State.