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:

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

NC could make constitutional law history yet again

With the pending decision by the US Supreme Court regarding North Carolina's redistricting & partisan gerrymandering case, the Old North State once again could enter the annuals of history when it comes to redistricting efforts: first, the state dominated the jurisprudence regarding race, redistricting, and racial gerrymandering; now, the state, along with a case out of Maryland, could be one of the lead decisions regarding politics, redistricting, and partisan gerrymandering.

In order to get the full impact of the Supreme Court's decision, it is best to get a sense of how this issue came to dominate the political landscape and how we got to awaiting the final opinion.

Following the 2011's redistricting efforts, led by supermajorities of Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly and not subject to a governor's review or veto (see NC Constitution, Article II, Section 22, Subsection 5), the initial congressional maps were challenged as racial gerrymandering. That legal challenge ended with the US Supreme Court upholding the lower court's judgment that the congressional district maps were unconstitutional, based on racial gerrymandering (Cooper v. Harris, 2017).

Monday, May 13, 2019

Final Numbers in the NC 9th Congressional District's Early Voting Period

While there will be some additional absentee by mail ballots coming in this week, the early ballots in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District primary is complete. Now, we await the final election numbers to come in on Election Day, this Tuesday, May 14. Below is some final analysis of early accepted ballots, along with some voter history and potential voter turnout considerations.

The overwhelming number of accepted early/"absentee" ballots are from those who cast them in-person, known in North Carolina as "absentee one-stop" ballots:


Friday, May 10, 2019

North Carolina's 9th Congressional District: Early Voting Nears The End

With early voting coming to an end today (on Friday, May 10), the early voting electorate is pretty much set for the North Carolina Ninth Congressional District. All that is left are the ballots to be cast at next Tuesday's Election Day, on May 14.

So far, within the GOP primary, 8,246 ballots have been requested, by both mail-in and in-person, with slightly under 8,000 votes (7,916) accepted as ballots for counting.

In terms of accepted early ballots (from both mail-in and in-person voting), Mecklenburg County continues to dominate the ballot pool, with half of all the early accepted ballots:


Monday, May 6, 2019

NC's 9th Congressional District Early Voters as of May 5, 2019

With early voting in the North Carolina 9th Congressional District well under way, more than 5,600 district voters have requested early ballots (either mail-in or voted in-person through 'one-stop' voting) in the new Republican primary contest. This analysis of early votes is based on data from the NC State Board of Elections for May 5, 2019.

Both registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters are allowed to cast ballots in the 10 candidate field, with registered Republicans outnumbering unaffiliated voters. Nearly 70 percent of the requested ballots so far are from registered GOPers.

North Carolina's Voter Trends: Regionalism in 2018's Election

As another chapter in exploring the Old North State's 2018 mid-term election data, it appears that North Carolina isn't just experiencing a tectonic shift among generational cohorts, but also within the geography of the state.

Like the rest of the nation, North Carolina is experiencing the 'urban-rural' divide in its politics, but with some clarifications as to the division. This analysis looks at the turnout rates in four 'regions' of the Old North State: at urban county voters who live within a central city (Charlotte, Raleigh, etc.), those voters who reside outside the central city but within that same urban county, voters in the surrounding suburban counties to the urban county, and then all rural votes. This page denotes which counties are in each category, based on the U.S. Office of Management and Budget's classification.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

North Carolina's Voter Trends: A Shifting Electorate In 2018

Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report about the impact of young voters on the 2018 mid-term elections.

The Census report documented that turnout among 18-29 year olds went from 20 percent in the previous mid-term election (2014) to 36 percent in 2018, "a 79 percent jump," the largest increase among any age group.

In thinking about the Old North State's electorate in the 2018 mid-terms, a similar pattern emerged as well among young voters. But instead of looking at age ranges as the U.S. Census does, I broke the electorates into their respective generational cohorts, and then analyzed several different aspects for who showed up in the 2018 'blue-moon' election in North Carolina.