Saturday, November 10, 2018

An Early Explanation to North Carolina's Constitutional Amendment Votes

With the final number settling in the Old North State's 2018 mid-term election, a number of analyses can be conducted with the data (with more analysis once the voter history data file is released later this month hopefully).

With six constitutional amendments on the 2018 mid-term ballots in North Carolina, a set of questions could be raised, most notably, what explains the vote pattern for the constitutional amendments (of which four of the six amendments passed)?

In thinking about the previous blog post about the impact of Trump's 2016 vote in the 2018 state legislative districts, and the fact that the Trump 2016 vote percentage explained 95 percent or more of the 2018 GOP candidate's vote in the state legislative districts, I started off by looking at the 100 county percentages for each of the 2018 constitutional amendments compared to the 2016 vote percentage for Donald Trump in the counties.

First, the constitutional amendment that had the highest vote 'for' was the victims' rights amendment, which passed with 62 percent of the vote:

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How NC's 2018 State Legislative Districts "Behaved" in Relationship to Trump's 2016 Vote

In a previous blog post, I noted that there appeared to be a close relationship to how a Republican state legislative candidate performed (that is, the vote percentage that GOP candidate received in the district) compared to the district's vote for Donald Trump in 2016.

Now that we have the preliminary election results and percentages for both state house and state senate Republican candidates, I decided to re-run the analysis to see what, if any, association was present between Trump's vote percentage in the new state legislative districts and the GOP candidate's vote percentage in the 2018 election.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Some thoughts on what to look for in NC's Election evening for the NC General Assembly contests

After 2016, I thought it best to stick to "explaining" why elections and their results happened, rather than "predicting" beforehand what could happen on Election evening. But as I'm teaching a course on Congress this semester, and we just wrapped up the section on mid-term elections, I thought it might be fun to post some thoughts on elections and what political scientists call the "fundamentals" when it comes to campaigns & elections, especially at the state level for 2018.

As many North Carolinians will be focused on the state's 13 congressional districts, it will be important to watch the state's General Assembly contests for both the state house and state senate in the Old North State. All eyes are on the question: can Democrats reduce the Republicans' seats in the state senate (GOP controls 35 seats) and the state house (GOP controls 75 seats) to below 'supermajority' status (3/5's of the 50 senate seats and 120 of the house seats) and thus break the power of the legislature to override Democratic Governor Roy Cooper's veto? If so, that would pose an interesting divided government scenario for the state for the next two years.

Going into Election Day for NC's Congressional Contests

(Update with numbers for each congressional district's early votes)

With the state's blue-moon election (no U.S. Senate or gubernatorial contest that encompasses the entire state), all of the attention of the Old North State has been on the 10-3 Republican-controlled delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives. With a potential Democratic wave cresting tomorrow (or not), a traditional Republican advantage in a mid-term turnout (or not), and a president sitting in the low to mid-40s (or not) for a job approval, this year's mid-term election has been strange, to say the least.

The three congressional districts that have garnered the most attention in North Carolina is the 9th, which stretches from the suburbs of Charlotte east to Fayetteville and is an open seat contest, the 13th, which covers the Greensboro suburbs west into Davie, Davidson, Rowan, and Iredell counties, and the 2nd, which hugs Raleigh and its surrounding suburbs on the south and eastern side of Wake County.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

It's All Over...Except for Election Day's Votes in NC: An Analysis of 2018's NC Early Voters

Early voting has ended in North Carolina, and the numbers are beyond impressive.

Why "impressive"? Because the Old North State is in its 'blue-moon' election cycle for the 2018 mid-term. With North Carolina governor's races held in presidential years and neither of the two U.S. Senate races being contested this year, there isn't a major contest that draws substantial attention from across the state.

Yes, there is a weirdly contested election for a state supreme court seat, various seats on the lower courts, and controversial constitutional amendments on the ballot, but there's nothing like what is driving early voting in states like Texas (U.S. Senate), Georgia (governor's race), or Florida (both U.S. Senate and a governor's race).

So, to have over 2.1 million votes cast before 2018's Election Day, when the last mid-term election in 2014 saw a total of 2.8 million votes cast, allows for the term 'impressive' to be used in this context.

Now, we will continue to see a trickle of absentee by mail ballots come in, but with in-person absentee voting concluded, we have a sense of who has showed up to vote, but not necessarily 'how' they voted, until we get the early returns after the polls close at 7:30 (or when the last votes are cast) on Tuesday evening.

With that said, here are the dynamics of 2018's early voting in North Carolina (these figures represent all accepted absentee ballots, both mail and in-person, as of November 4). As a reminder: all data comes from the North Carolina State Board of Elections: