Saturday, November 5, 2016

As NC Winds Down Early Voting, 2016 Speeds Past 2012 Numbers (updated)

With the last day of early absentee voting in North Carolina upon us and now 72 hours until the actual Election Day vote count arrives, North Carolinians are setting records with absentee voting.

For all absentee ballots, requested and by method (mail-in and in-person), 2,962,113 were recorded yesterday, with today's voting still to go (most counties go until 1 PM, but a few are later in the afternoon).

This year's ballots is 13.4 percent ahead of where things were on this same day in 2012.  The numbers by party registration and vote method are:

Of all the absentee ballots requested so far, 42 percent are from registered Democrats, 32 percent from registered Republicans, and 26 percent from registered unaffiliated voters. 

Democrats have hit their same totals from four years ago on this same day, but registered Republicans are 13.8 percent ahead of their same-day 2012 totals and registered unaffiliated voters are 43.4 percent ahead of their same day totals--the notably story of North Carolina's early voting.

In terms of voters' race in absentee NC voting, whites continue their 72 percent of the ballots cast, while black voters are 22 percent and all other races are at 7 percent of the ballots cast:

Black voters have been making up their deficit from four years ago, now down only 8 percent from their 2012 same-day numbers (down 59,200 ballots), with white voters up 19 percent and all other races up 53 percent.  This all other races category could be something to watch with their dramatic rise. 

In terms of gender, women continue to be 56 percent of the ballots cast:

Among female voters, 46 percent are registered Democrats, 30 percent are registered Republicans, and 24 percent are registered unaffiliated. Among male voters, 36 percent are registered Democrats, 35 percent registered Republicans, and 28 percent registered unaffiliated.

Next, the analysis moves to accepted ballots that will be counted as votes on Tuesday:

Accepted Absentee Ballots:

Of the 2.9 million ballots requested, 2,892,088 (97.6 percent) have been returned and accepted as votes for the general election. 

Among the party break down by voting method:

Among the accepted ballots, registered Democrats are 42 percent, Republicans 32 percent, and unaffiliated 26 percent.

The overwhelming number of accepted absentee ballots continues to be from in-person voting, with the analysis shifting to that method.

Accepted In-Person Absentee Ballots:

For this year's 2.7 million accepted in-person absentee ballots, North Carolina has seen a 15 percent increase in this voting method in comparison to the same day total from 2012.

In comparison to 2012's same day totals, this year's trends continue the pattern of registered Democrats continuing to be a plurality of the ballots cast, but only meeting their same day totals from four years ago, while registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters are ahead of their same-day 2012 totals.

A closer look at Days 8-17 of early voting from this year and 2012:

The daily percentage by registered party affiliation for the second half of in-person voting:

The racial composition of accepted in-person absentee ballots is:

What is interesting is that the unaffiliated voter group has become more racially diverse over the past few days, making the white percentage drop down to 71 percent while the black percentage has creeped up to 23 percent.

The daily percentage of ballots cast by race is:

Among this year's in-person absentee voters, their voting method from 2012 has dropped among those being repeat in-person early voters to those folks who voted in-person in 2012 and weren't registered in 2012.

The analysis by region, native vs. born outside of North Carolina, and generations:

Urban voters are continuing their domination of accepted in-person absentee ballots.

Among those born out of state, the interesting component is that unaffiliated voters are now equal in percentages to registered Republicans.

Millennial voters are continuing to inch up in their percentage, with Baby Boomers dropping to 41 percent from 46 percent early this week. 

Turnout Rates So Far for Accepted Absentee Ballots:

In the past few days, I've started looking at the turnout among registered voters in various categories. Today, I've decided to look at all accepted ballots (mail-in and in-person) to compare against the group's registration data.

First, the numbers and the percentages of turnout by race and registered party affiliation among all accepted absentee ballot voters:

It should not be surprising that registered unaffiliated voters are a lower turnout rate than partisan voters.

Next, by gender, nativism, region, and generation among all accepted absentee ballot voters:

What's interesting is that the rural county turnout rate is slightly behind the urban and suburban group; one would think rural voters would be the 'great missing voter' who would be showing up for a particular candidate, but this doesn't seem to be the case so far in early voting when compared against urban and suburban voters.

The other noticeable trend is in the generation cohorts, with both Baby Boomers and Silent/Greatest generations well over 50 percent turnout so far; millennials are lagging, and will be interesting to see if they show up on Election Day. 

I just ran some further analysis on all accepted absentee ballots (both mail-in and in-person) with some crosstabs. First, the registered party registrations by their generation cohorts:

While a majority of both registered Democrats and Republicans are older (more than 51 years old, belonging to Baby Boomer  and Silent/Greatest generations), registered unaffiliated voters are a majority under the age of 50 years old (belonging to Generation X and Millennials).

So, I isolated the unaffiliated voters who have cast accepted in-person and mail-in ballots through yesterday, and ran their region (urban, suburban, and rural) versus their generation cohorts to arrive at this 'picture' of unaffiliated voters by their region and generation:

One third of all unaffiliated voters are either Millennials or Gen Xers living in an urban county in North Carolina. The 'assumption' of these voters is that they would lean Democratic in general. But we'll have to wait and see what happens Tuesday, especially through North Carolina's exit polls.

Friday, November 4, 2016

On the Penultimate Day of NC's In-Person Absentee Voting, All Absentee Ballots Hit 2.6M

On the penultimate day of North Carolina's in-person absentee voting period (which ends on Saturday), all absentee ballots have hit 2.6 million ballots, thanks to an additional 232,000 ballots being cast yesterday.

In terms of the party registration and the voting method (whether it is mail-in or in-person), the total pool of absentee ballots (both accepted and still being processing, for example), the breakdown of the 2,663,628 ballots are:

Registered Democrats make up 42 percent of the total absentee ballots so far, with registered Republicans at 32 percent and registered unaffiliated voters at 26 percent.

In comparison to this same day in 2012, the total pool of absentee ballots in the state is 12.8 percent ahead.

In comparison to 2012's party registration break downs among all ballots, registered Democrats are at their 2012 numbers, while registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters are ahead.

Registered Democrats are 0.1 percent behind their numbers from the same day in 2012, while registered Republicans are 12.5 percent ahead and registered unaffiliated voters are 43.3 percent ahead of their same day totals from four years ago.

In terms of the racial composition of all NC absentee ballots, 72 percent continue to be from white voters, with 22 percent from black voters and 6 percent from voters of all other races.

On a daily percentage, however, registered white voters are only 68 percent of yesterday's ballots cast, while black voters were 27 percent and all other races were 5 percent. So the numbers are increasing among black voters, however, they are still down 10 percent from their 2012 same day total numbers with a deficit of over 60,000 ballots compared to 2012. White voters are up 19 percent and all other races are up 51 percent compared to same day four years ago.

In terms of gender of all absentee ballots, women continue to be 56 percent of the absentee ballot pool:

Among female voters, 47 percent are from registered Democrats, 30 percent from registered Republicans, and 23 percent from registered unaffiliated voters. In comparison, male voters are 36 percent registered Democrats, 35 percent registered Republicans, and 28 percent registered unaffiliated voters.

Next, in looking at the total absentee ballot pool, one needs to look at the total accepted ballots so far:

Of the 2.6 million total absentee ballots, 2.5 million, or 97 percent, have been accepted for Tuesday's general election. I move into this category of accepted ballots for the next section.

Accepted Absentee Ballots:

Of these 2.5 million accepted ballots by delivery method (mail-in or in-person), the party registration break down is:

The overwhelming majority of accepted absentee ballots are by in-person, as has been the historic trend in the state.  The analysis now focuses on the in-person accepted absentee ballots.

Accepted In-Person Absentee Ballots:

In comparison to 2012's accepted absentee ballots, this year's accepted in-person absentee ballots of 2.4 million are ahead of the same day four years ago by 16 percent.

Registered Democrats are 43 percent of the accepted in-persona absentee ballots, while registered Republicans are 31 percent and registered unaffiliated voters are 25 percent. In comparing the party registration between this year and four years ago on the same day:

Democrats have met their 2012 same day totals (ahead by 475 ballots), while registered Republicans are 21 percent ahead of their same-day totals from four years ago, and registered unaffiliated voters are 47 percent ahead of their same day totals. This increase in unaffiliated voters is the true wildcard in this election.  The next chart gives an isolated view of the last week of in-person voting by party:

And this chart represents the party percentages each day of the last week of in-person voting by day:

The racial composition of the total accepted in-person absentee ballots shows a slight drop from the 72 percent white to 71 percent, with a slight increase in black voters from 22 to 23 percent. But there are major differences within the party registration by race:

The daily percentages by race for accepted in-person ballots shows this slight uptick in black voters casting ballots this year, but still down from their percentages in 2012 on the same day:

The slight uptick in 'all other races' may be something to watch moving forward as well.

So far, 60 percent of 2016's accepted in-person absentee voters used the same voting method in 2012, but there's a growing percentage over the past few days of new voters and those voters who voted on election day in 2012 (combined account for 33 percent of the accepted in-person ballots so far):

Among the regional, native vs. born out of state, and generational analysis:

Urban voters still have a commanding lead, and registered unaffiliated and registered Republicans from this area of the state are tied in their accepted in-person absentee ballots.

Non-native voters are still 57 percent of the accepted in-person ballots, and registered unaffiliated voters are one percent behind registered Republicans.

And among the generation cohorts within the accepted in-person absentee ballots, Millennial voters are inching their overall percentage of the pool up, to 18 percent today. At the beginning of this week, Baby Boomers were 45 percent of the pool, and now they are down to 43 percent, with voters from the Silent/Greatest generation dropping one percentage point as well.

As with yesterday's post, I have begun looking at the 'turnout' among registered voters in different key categories and see where things stand in terms of the 6.8 million registered voter pool and who has cast accepted in-person absentee ballots so far.

So far, the overall turnout based on the voter registration pool stands at 36 percent. Among the turnout based on race and party registration based on their registration totals:

And the percentages of these groups compared to their total registration figures are:

In comparison to their voter registration 'turnout' rate, black voters have taken a slight edge over white voters, while a greater percentage of registered Democrats have turned out among the party registration. Traditionally, registered unaffiliated voters have a lower voter registration turnout rate than do partisan registered voters in North Carolina.

Among the turnout rates for gender, native vs. non-native born, region, and generation:

In comparison to yesterday's turnout rate, Millennials increased from 19% of their registration pool to 22 percent, while Gen Xers went from 30% to 33% of their share of the voter registration pool.

Finally, in looking at the accepted in-person absentee ballots by region and party registration:

What is interesting is that among unaffiliated voters, urban county voters are a substantial majority from that pool, while among registered Republicans, their majority of ballots is coming from both suburban and rural counties.

Accepted Mail-In Ballots:

Finally, the analysis on mail-in ballots, concentrating on accepted ballots:

Of the 138,000 accepted mail-in ballots so far, this year's total accepted mail-in ballots are only 82 percent of where things stood four years ago on this same day.

Registered Republicans are 41 percent registered Republicans, 32 percent registered Democrats, and 27 percent registered unaffiliated.

In comparison to 2012's same day totals, registered Republicans are at 65 percent of where they were four years ago on this same day, while Democrats are 94 percent and unaffiliated are at 108 percent of where their numbers were on the same day in 2012.

Among the outstanding ballots still remaining: