Sunday, June 5, 2016

Some stats on registered voters in NC's new 12th Congressional District

Based on the May 28, 2016 NC voter registration data file from the NC State Board of Elections, I pulled out the registered voters in the new 12th Congressional District and did some quick analysis and data-crunching of the 522,512 registered voters in the district.

First, the overall district breaks down like this based on party registration:

As to be expected, the district is a strong Democratic one, with registered Republicans barely one out of five voters in the district. Based on the map and previous analysis done of Mecklenburg County, the northern and south-western parts of the district are heavily Republican, but the City of Charlotte's Democratic dominance outweighs those areas.

Next, the racial breakdown of the new 12th:

While white voters are a plurality within the district, black voters make up nearly 40 percent, contributing to the heavy Democratic influence of the new district.

As to gender breakdown of the new 12th:

Finally, a generational cohort analysis of the new district shows the breakdown between millennials (age 18-35), Generation Xers (36-50), Baby Boomers (51-71), and Silent Generation (71 and older).

With over a third of registered voters under the age of 35, the district is dominated by voters under the age of 50.

The next analysis that I conducted was on 'high propensity voters,' those voters registered since 2008 to vote in primary elections and who did vote in 2008, 2012, and the March 2016 primaries. It would seem that the most 'likely' voter to cast a ballot in this special congressional primary would be those voters who showed up for the past three presidential primary elections (mid-term elections could be factored in, but I decided to run presidential against presidential election years).

Of the voters registered prior to the May 2008 primary (260,344), only 39,171 cast ballots in the three primaries, for a total of 15 percent of the eligible voters.

Coming up with the four breakdowns of party registration, race, gender, and generational cohort, we see some interesting aspects.

Not surprising, the vast majority (77 percent) of high propensity voters are registered Democrats. 

Again, with a Democratic-dominated district, black voters are a majority (53 percent) of high propensity voters. 

Women are almost two-thirds of the high propensity voters in the new 12th congressional district. This may play an advantage to either Alma Adams or Tricia Cotham. 

Finally, while those voters under the age of 50 compose a significant majority of the overall registered voters, a majority of high propensity voters in the district are Baby Boomers.

One of the biggest questions raised about Tuesday's primary election is 'what will voter turnout be' in a low-information, low-recognition election such as this? If we assume that the high propensity voters are most likely to cast a ballot in this kind of election, then we may be looking at that 7 percent, with another 5 (conservative estimate) to perhaps 8 percent (optimistic) for a total voter turnout of 12 to 15 percent within the district. The likely voter, however, should be black, female, Baby Boomer, registered Democrat.

We'll see when Tuesday comes. I'll be posting another similar entry on the 13th Congressional District, a GOP-leaning area with 17 Republicans running for the party nomination. Due to time constraints, haven't been able to do the 13th GOP District analysis.