Saturday, October 24, 2020

With a week of votes, 2020 NC's early votes are poised to meet and exceed 2016's totals

By Michael Bitzer

With a week of early votes (both absentee by mail and absentee onestop, which is the state's in-person voting method), North Carolina in 2020 is ready to meet the total number of early votes cast in all of 2016--and then exceed that total. 

As I've noted at the blog's twitter account each day this past week, the astronomical rise of early votes, by both mail and in-person, has been something that seems to put the Old North State on a record-breaking trajectory of total ballots cast. Of course, we won't know what that total is until the last ballots are cast on Election Day (and, honestly, that seems like it could be potentially a few days after November 3rd if the last of the absentee by mail ballots come in), but the pattern of 2008 to 2012 to 2016 of adding about 300,000 votes each subsequent election may be a bit low in looking at what 2020 is going to do. More on that later.

For the half-way point of NC's in-person early voting period, the comparison between 2016 and 2020 is just stunning.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Lay of the Political Landscape: NC's 13 Congressional Districts

This is another piece in a series regarding the 'state of the 2020 election' when it comes to the dynamics of North Carolina as we approach the November 3rd General Election. Prior to Election Day, we'll have companion pieces for the NC state house, gubernatorial, and presidential contests in the Old North State. 

In this post, each of us take several of NC's thirteen congressional districts and assess their characteristics for the general election. In most conventional analyses of the U.S. House races, one should not be surprised by a switch from 10 Republican-3 Democratic delegation to an 8-5 Republican-Democratic delegation (thanks to recent redrawing of the district lines and the centering in urban areas of two districts), though two may have the potential for some real interest when the polls close on November 3rd. 

We should note: while we present a lot of demographic and district-based characteristics, we are not attempt a predictive analysis of how these contests will come out; only the fundamentals found within each congressional district as an overview for helping to understand what may happen come November 3. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Two Weeks Out From Election Day, 1 out of 5 North Carolina Voters Have Voted

By Michael Bitzer

North Carolina's first four days of absentee onestop, which is commonly referred to as in-person early voting, have seen record numbers of voters casting ballots. When combined with the exponential amount of absentee by mail ballots returned and accepted, twenty percent of North Carolina's 7.2 million registered voters have already banked their ballots, with two weeks still to go before Election Day.

This post gives several dynamics of the absentee ballots through Sunday, October 18, and then I'll do another blog update on Saturday, October 24, to look at the first full week's worth of data. For daily updates of these numbers, be sure to check out the blog's Twitter account @OldNorthStPol for data threads, or my Twitter account @BowTiePolitics for some analysis of the numbers and trends. 

Through Sunday, October 18, the total number of accepted absentee ballots stands at 1,526,968, with 918,224 coming from absentee onestop (in-person) and 608,744 coming from absentee by mail ballots. 

The following chart shows the tremendous daily growth in comparison to 2016's daily numbers.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Lay of the Political Landscape: New NC Voters--What Do We Know About Who Are They?

By Michael Bitzer and Chris Cooper

This is another piece in a series regarding the 'state of the 2020 election' when it comes to the dynamics of North Carolina as we approach the November 3rd General Election. Prior to Election Day, we'll have companion pieces for the state house, congressional, gubernatorial, and presidential contests in the Old North State. 

Given North Carolina's well-established position as a battleground state, it is not surprising that national political commentators are finding reasons to delve into voter registration and voter history trends in the Old North State. Armed with voter registration data that are available to anyone with a keyboard and a decent wi-fi connection, commentators and analysts are able to make conclusions about the size, shape, and scope of various constituencies within North Carolina's electorate. 

Given the relevance of these data to answer all sorts of critical question, the disparate results that some of these various analyses reveal, and our own penchant for working with these data for many years, we thought we'd take the opportunity to share snapshot at new registered voters in North Carolina--a question that should be relevant to anyone who wants to understand whether and how the Old North State is changing.