Monday, October 6, 2014

One month to go & NC's mail-in ballots should start hitting their stride

With four weeks to go, we should start to see the mail-in absentee ballots come rolling in with larger numbers as votes for the November 4 general election.

Over the weekend, the NC State Board of Elections released their data on requested and returned/accepted ballots. Among the 24,765 ballots sent out and the 4,697 ballots returned and accepted so far, the trend over the past two weeks have continued.

Requests from registered Democrats make up 41 percent of the 24,765, with registered Republicans at 35 percent and registered unaffiliated voters at 24 percent. At this point in 2010, Republicans were 47 percent, Democrats were 34 percent, and unaffiliated voters were 20 percent.

Among requested ballots:

  • female voters are 56 percent while men are 43 percent
  • white voters are 82.4 percent
  • black voters are 12.3 percent
Among the returned and accepted ballots (19 percent so far), we should start to see a consider increase in these numbers over this coming week, based on what we saw four years ago in 2010.

Among the returned and accepted ballots so far:

  • registered Democratic voters make up 45 percent
  • registered Republican voters make up 35 percent
  • registered unaffiliated voters make up 21 percent
  • female voters are 53 percent while male voters are 46 percent
  • white voters are 81 percent
  • black voters are 14 percent
It may seem that in this Republican-favored year that North Carolina is an exception in seeing Democratic surge in absentee balloting, but over the weekend, Adam Smith, Tampa Bay Times' political reporter, notes that Republicans are leading in absentee ballots in the Sunshine State, but that Democrats have significantly cut into the GOP's numbers in comparison to 2010's performance. 

With a month of campaigning to go until November 4, concerns may start to ramp up within GOP circles and the Republican's campaign on the performance of not just Thom Tillis, who is still behind (albeit within the M.O.E.) in the latest poll released over the weekend, but also the GOP ground game, as evident by the mail-in numbers for the past few weeks.  This week's debates on Tuesday and Thursday between Hagan and Tillis may be more important for the challenger to change the dynamics of a fairly consistent campaign.