Thursday, September 12, 2019

Some Preliminary Findings from the NC Ninth: What Can We Learn?


The two-point margin of victory for Republican Dan Bishop over Democrat Dan McCready in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District might give some clues about where things potentially stand in the American electorate, while also demonstrating some voting trends unique to the Old North State.

Voter loyalty is intense.

Much of the national attention was on whether 2018’s last congressional election would be a potential bellwether election leading into the 2020 election cycle. The battle over the Ninth did show that a historic Republican district (GOP controlled since 1963) and that was drawn as a safe district perform as a Republican district.


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Could We Finally Have an Election in the NC 9th?

Following the electoral fraud regarding absentee by mail ballots in the North Carolina Ninth, one of the nation's longest 'undecided' congressional elections from 2018 is finally coming to an end (we hope) this coming Tuesday, September 10. While it's still the only unresolved U.S. House race left for the Congress, some of the dynamics that we could see Tuesday may signal that it is also the first election for the 2020 U.S. House.

This lengthy blog post will review some of the 9th District's demographics and its 2016 and 2018 electoral performance, its current voter registration, its early voting leading up to Tuesday's general election, and then some final thoughts as to what I'll be looking for Tuesday evening.

As a reminder, the North Carolina 9th stretches from Bladen County and Cumberland County, with the city of Fayetteville, in the eastern portion of the state, westward to the city of Charlotte in Mecklenburg County.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Previewing the NC 9th Congressional District Election on Sept. 10

While the summer news has been dominated by events outside of North Carolina (well, unless you count a recent presidential rally in Greenville), the Ninth Congressional District general election, featuring Democrat Dan McCready against Republican Dan Bishop, has been steadily marching on its own path towards the finish line of the September 10th general election.

However, this race may be nationalized by events outside of the district, most notably the recent presidential feud with "The Squad" and the horrific mass shootings in both El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

One of the ramifications already pontificated about from these events is the impact on the 2020 election, most notably some political observers suggesting that Trump's racism and rhetorical alignment with white nationalism and supremacy and his insensitivity regarding the mass shootings may continue to push suburban voters away from the President. Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report tweeted that:

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Previewing North Carolina for 2020's Election

With an upcoming interview for Spectrum News' "Capital Tonight" that previews the 2020 election in North Carolina, I thought it might be worthwhile to share some findings of the Old North State's electoral dynamics in the past several presidential election years, as we are slated to another "competitive battleground/lean GOP" state for next year's campaign.

As a reminder, since 2008, the state has witness some of the closest presidential elections in the nation among the states, following the 13 percentage-point victories for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004:


Since 2008, the number of voters casting ballots has gone up about 200,000 each election (+194,583 in 2012 from 2008's total, and +236,192 in 2016 over 2012's total). Voter turnout has typically been 68 to 69 percent of the registered voter pool, equating to around 4.5 million ballots cast.

To put things into a comparative perspective, North Carolina tends to be about 3.5 percent more Republican since 2008 than the nation, using the Republican presidential candidates' performance nationally to the state's GOP performance.


Thus, it's a fair assessment to say that North Carolina is a "center/lean-right" kind of a state.

The following data is from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, which, along with the American National Election Study, is a significant survey of Americans in election years, and provides some data, trends, and patterns to consider as we move into the 2020 election.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Where the NC Voter Pool Stands Halfway Through 2019

With the first half of 2019 in the books, and as we get closer to the 2020 election year, here's an overview of the 6.6 million registered voters in the Old North State, as of June 29, 2019.

Currently, the party registration breaks down as 37 percent registered Democrat, 32 percent registered unaffiliated, 30 percent registered Republican, and 1 percent registered the other parties (Libertarian, Green, and Constitution).

When breaking down different factors based on party registration, there continues some intriguing patterns to the voter pool.

Monday, July 1, 2019

A Review of "The Long Southern Strategy"

Occasionally I have the opportunity to guest host WFAE's Charlotte Talks and interview some really fascinating people about a politics. Most recently, I interviewed Rob Christensen, former political reporter and columnist for the Raleigh News & Observer on his new book about North Carolina's Scott Family dynasty and the state's era of progressive politics, as well as former North Carolina attorney general, secretary of state, and 1984 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rufus Edminsten on his new book.

This week I'm interviewing Drs. Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields of the University of Arkansas on their new book, "The Long Southern Strategy: How Chasing White Voters in the South Changed American Politics."


It is a deeply rich and extensive study of how the American South transformed from a deep blue, Solid Democratic region to now a Solid Republican South (albeit some states deeper in their red hues than others).

Saturday, June 29, 2019

NC Makes Constitutional Law History Again

In my previous post, I contemplated whether North Carolina's partisan gerrymandering case, known as "Rucho v. Common Cause" and combined with a Maryland case, would make constitutional law history. And indeed, it did.

It made history because the court, until a new majority assumes power, said "we aren't getting involved in these partisan gerrymandering cases because they are too political." Which further made the court a political institution, in the eyes of some, and an odd savior of partisan gerrymandering to others.

In an interview the day of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to involve federal courts in partisan gerrymandering because of the "political question" doctrine regarding justiciability, I mentioned the fact that we have a dual judicial system, with both a federal court system and a state court system. And that the state case, challenging partisan gerrymandering based on state constitutional law, was working its way through the state system and could end up at the North Carolina Supreme Court. Immediately after my comments, former state senator Bob Rucho (the "Rucho" of the case name) said the following: