Monday, October 20, 2014

Moving into Final 2 Weeks of NC's General Election Campaign

As we move into the final two weeks of North Carolina's general election campaign, we are seeing a definite uptick in mail-in ballots requested, especially by registered Republicans, along with a tightening of the returned and accepted ballots between both Democrats and Republicans.

At this point, with 64,255 requests in for mail-in ballots as of Saturday, Oct. 18 (18 days out from the election), 2014 has easily surpassed 2010's same-day total by over 22,000 requests. 

Among these 64K requested mail-in ballots:
  • registered Republicans are 43 percent of the total requests
  • registered Democrats are 33 percent
  • registered unaffiliated voters are 24 percent
  • female voters are 56 percent
  • white voters are 84 percent
  • black voters are 11 percent
Among the 14,678 ballots that have been returned and accepted (23 percent of the requested ballots so far):

  • Registered Democrats and Republicans are tied at 39 percent each
  • registered unaffiliated voters are 22 percent
  • women are 54 percent of the returned and accepted ballots
  • white voters are 84 percent
  • black voters are 12 percent

While registered Democrats and Republicans are now tied in their returned and accepted ballots, registered Republicans are slightly below their 2010 corresponding numbers, while Democrats are 43 percent ahead and registered unaffiliated voters are 37 percent ahead of where they were in 2010 on the same day.

I also ran some analyses using these numbers, first by dividing up the counties into urban, suburban, and rural classifications and comparing the numbers to the 2010 percentages as well.

Democrats and unaffiliated voters are over-performing their 2010 performance in all three regional areas, while Republicans have seen their 2014 shares cut significantly (down 7 to 8 percent).

Finally, I compared the final party registration percentages for mail-in balloting in the 2006-2012 general elections with the 10-19-14 totals so far:

Democrats are near their 2006 percentage total (a Democratic wave year) while unaffiliated voters have matched their best percentage (2012's general election).  Another week of early mail-in balloting (requests are due by October 28), along with the start of in-person early voting this Thursday (October 23), will dramatically reshape these percentages, of course, but early numbers continue to indicate something is different in this year's mid-term election performance so far in North Carolina.