Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I-77 Tolls Could Be a Political Issue in 2016 Elections

I recently did an interview with David Boraks of WFAE News on the toll I-77 could take on 2016 elections in North Carolina.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Look at NC's Invisible Primary

I often appear on Time-Warner Cable News' Capital Tonight, hosted by Tim Boyum. He has a new blog post on North Carolina's invisible primary.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Could Voter Anger over I-77 Tolls Take a Toll on McCrory?

A new blog post at WFAE's The Party Line looks at the political ramifications of the I-77 toll controversy for Governor McCrory.

Monday, December 14, 2015

McCrory's Two Campaign Videos Appeal to Two Electorates

A new blog post at WFAE's The Party Line explores two campaign videos related to NC Governor Pat McCrory's re-election bid.

Democratic Roy Cooper Gets Teachers' Group Endorsement, while GOP Pat McCrory Gets Primary Challenger

Gary Robertson of the AP writes a story on Cooper's early endorsement and McCrory's intra-party challenge.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Visions of Race, Poverty & Politics in the "Two Charlottes"

A great dive into the landscape of Charlotte and the two cities that it is becoming, by the executive editor of Charlotte Magazine for Politico.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Moneyball in Campaigns & Elections: Asheville, NC, Style

An interesting article about an Asheville, NC, local candidate who used data, and not a lot of money, to secure a first place in an election. It goes to the idea that strategic data analysis is filtering down from presidential campaigns to local campaigns; a good resource about this strategy is "The Victory Lab."

Clinton Sees Early Lead in Superdelegates

Was interviewed by The Daily Tar Heel about the significant number of superdelegates to Hillary Clinton. A part of the 'invisible primary' season that we are currently in, you can follow the delegate counts for both the Democrats and Republicans at 538.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Charlotte's Election was 52-48, But It Wasn't That Competitive

I have a new blog post up at WFAE's The Party Line that goes more in-depth into the recent mayoral election in Charlotte and, while the end result appeared to be competitive at a 52-48 spread, for most precincts, it was solidly for one candidate over the other.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Redistricting and Gerrymandering in North Carolina

I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Abe Holtzman Public Policy Forum at NC State University on redistricting and gerrymandering in North Carolina, presented by NC State's School of Public & International Affairs with funding provided by the MacArthur Foundation.

The folks at Common Cause NC videotaped the presentations, and my presentation starts at about the 40 minute mark.

The first speaker, Dr. Andy Taylor, professor of political science at NC State University, began the forum with a general overview of the principles behind redistricting in North Carolina. The second speaker, Dr. Allan Parnell of the Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities, discussed the growth in population in the state since the 2010 census, and then I presented some thoughts on how it's not just the maps, but us as polarized and sorted voters, who are impacting this issue.

The forum concluded with remarks from NC State Representatives Grier Martin and Skip Stam.

An update: Rob Christensen at the Raleigh News & Observer has written a column on the forum last week.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Could I-77 Take A Toll on McCrory's Re-Election Bid?

I spoke with Erik Spanberg of the Charlotte Business Journal about the pending fight over I-77 toll lanes in Charlotte and Governor McCrory's re-election bid.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Some Analysis of Charlotte's Mayoral Election

There will be a blog post going up on WFAE's The Party Line blog with some analysis about Charlotte's mayoral contest. Here are some graphs that are associated with the post:






Friday, October 30, 2015

WFAE's Charlotte Talks Previews Tuesday's City Elections

Was a panelist on WFAE's Charlotte Talks about next Tuesday's elections in Charlotte, focusing mostly on the mayoral contest and the city council seats and candidates.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Bow Tie Caucus Convened Friday on Time Warner Cable News' "Capital Tonight"

Was interviewed as a member of the Bow Tie Caucus on TWC New's "Capital Tonight" about the UNC Presidential hire and Hillary Clinton's past week.

Friday, October 23, 2015

A feature on Charlotte's mayoral election contest

I know it's been a while since the last post--been a busy semester so far, but was recently interviewed for a feature on Charlotte's GOP mayoral candidate. Should have another WFAE The Party Line blog post up soon about the dynamics of who exactly tends to show up in the Queen City electoral contests.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Shakespearean Sonnets for the Silly Summer Season

Had some real fun writing this one at WFAE's The Party Line blog.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New blog post at WFAE's The Party Line on Millennials

Will be on WFAE's Charlotte Talks talking about millennials and their role in reshaping politics. In preparing for it, I've written a blog post at The Party Line on millennial registered voters in North Carolina.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Defining Urban, Suburban and Rural Counties in North Carolina

The below map uses the 2013 OMB Memo on Metropolitan Statistical Areas for classifying urban and suburban counties.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

North Carolina Voter Registration Data as of 8-8-15

Just posted some data on Twitter and am posting here from the August 8, 2015 data from NC State Board of Elections:






NC donors favor GOP super PACs over candidates

Jim Morrill of the Charlotte Observer has an article about the flood of money from NC going into super PACs rather than the GOP candidates, and that supports a lot of stories about the role of money in this year's presidential primary season and the fact that super PACs are dominating.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Some thoughts on the GOP Presidential Debate

Now that the dust has settled after the GOP Presidential Debate, some thoughts on how each candidate did and what the debate may do to the race, via my other blog at WFAE, The Party Line.

Political Round-Up on WUNC's "The State of Things"

I had the opportunity to join Ken Rudin with host Frank Stasio on WUNC's noon show, "The State of Things," talking about the GOP debate and the retirement of Jon Stewart.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Talking about NC Budget Politics this morning and then news this afternoon

Was pleased to be on WFAE's Charlotte Talks about the NC budget politics; then, in the same day, Senate Republicans have come up with a compromise to get talks moving.

NC Secretary of Health & Human Services Resigns

Some comments on the second major resignation from the McCrory administration in a week.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Generational Dynamics Reveal 2016's Potential Shift in North Carolina's Electorate

In a recent Pew Research report, Millennials (those born in 1981 up to the beginning of the new millennium) will overtake Baby Boomers (those born from 1945 to 1965, generally) as the nation’s largest living generation.  And, to quote a famous line drummed into history about the baby boomers, the torch is finally being passed to a new generation.

There is no doubt that the Millennials’ rise, as a techno-savvy, diverse, and highly educated generation, will impact the nation in a variety of ways, most notably through its politics. Some doubt the real impact of Millennials, however; Philip Bump, writing for the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, says that Millennials won’t matter very much in American politics until they get older. 

But in North Carolina, at least, the impact of the Millennial generation is being felt in the pool of potential voters, but not in the composition of voters casting ballots—at least, not yet.

In the database of registered North Carolina voters from the NC State Board of Elections and matching up records of those who cast ballots with their basic demographic information, the most interesting trend since 2000 has been the growing percentage of Millennials in the registered voter pool.



Since the beginning of the 21st Century, North Carolina voters in the Millennial generation have gone from 2 percent of the registered voter pool to 26 percent in 2014, while Baby Boomers have seen their proportion of the pool shrink from 45 percent down to 32 percent over the same time period.

The past trends suggest that between presidential elections in North Carolina, the percentage of the pool of registered Millennial voters increases 8 percent, with the percentage of the pool increasing 2 percent between presidential and mid-term election years. If these trends hold, then Millennial registered voters will go from 24 percent in 2012 to 32 percent in 2016, matching that year’s likely proportion of Baby Boomers in the state's eligible voter pool.

With nearly a third of the registered voters and many of them maturing into political participation, Millennials will begin to impact the state’s politics; and, in fact, they already are. 

Among Millennial voters, as of the end of 2014, 37 percent are registered Democrats, 37 percent are registered unaffiliated, and only a quarter of Millennial voters are registered Republican.  This may be one of the early demographic warning signs that some Republicans have been concerned about.

But as Bump noted, in the past two presidential and mid-term elections, Millennials have not shown up at comparable levels to their registration percentages.



In both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, 68 percent and 55 percent of Millennials cast ballots; however, in comparison, all other generations had higher percentages showing up, with Baby Boomers at 84 percent and 78 percent in 2008 and 2012, respectively. 



With the lower turnout rates, Millennials were only 13 and 19 percent in the 2008 and 2012 electorates, respectively, while Baby Boomers were 39 and 43 percent of the presidential elections.  This isn’t unheard of, since younger voters, no matter the generation, typically do not show up at the ballot box until they hold steady jobs, have families, and are more grounded in the economic and political system.


So while the Millennial generation’s overall numbers are signaling the critical shift in voter registration, that is the first sign of their growing level of importance. Whether one party, or both, recognizes the future wave of Millennials coming through the political system and respond will be the key test to see how much their generation begins to shape not just North Carolina, but the nation as a whole.