Thursday, November 15, 2018

Charlotte's Urban Blue Goes Deeper as the Traditional CLT GOP Wedge Collapses

With the Democratic flips in South Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in a number of elections this year (for state house and county commission, in particular), concerns among Republicans have surfaced that Charlotte, and Mecklenburg County, may see no Republican-elected officials in the city's and county's future. In fact, one Republican member of the Charlotte City Council expressed concern that "We could very well be in the last days of Republicans being elected in Charlotte."

But this wasn't a 2018 sudden earthquake, but rather a set of tremors that were building since at least 2004 for the "Republican wedge" in south Charlotte.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

With the 2018 Election dust settling, let's revisit redistricting's influence

Now that the dust is settling on the North Carolina 2018 mid-terms (I can't speak for other states), we can begin to analyze and dig deeper into the data of voters who showed up to cast ballots, once that information is released by the counties to the NC State Board of Elections. It will likely be posted into the "voter history" data file, found here, and I'll work to slice out the 2018 voters and merge it with the voter registration file.

Yet there is some analysis beginning to show about the results of the Old North State's elections and what it might mean. One that caught my eye was over at LongLeaf Politics blog, about the issue of Democrats "winning" more votes yet not gaining a proportional representation in either the U.S. House or in the state legislature.

In Andrew Dunn's argument, Democrats
"tend to live in big cities. Rural areas are reliably red. Geographically, rural areas are simply much larger. So in most any way you draw districts, Democrats tend to pack together."
Yes, urban areas (i.e., "big cities") are trending more Democratic, and in North Carolina, urban counties are noticeably blue in elections (and some are becoming bluer with each election).

But how do we know that Democrats are "packed" together in urban areas: is it 50 percent of all Democrats are concentrated in urban areas? Are there few, if any, Democrats out in the ruby red rural counties? What about the supposed 'battleground' suburbs (which, in the Old North State's surrounding suburban counties, aren't really that competitive, as noted above)--are Democrats suburbanite voters, or are they all just big city dwellers?