By Christopher Cooper
Another way to understand the stability of county-level voting patterns is to look at the number of counties that shifted partisan allegiances for President from one election to the next. As the figure below suggests, county swinging used to be as reliable as a Phil Ford jump shot (if you're a State fan, feel free to insert Chris Corchiani for Phil Ford; if you're a Duke fan...well...I can't help you there). From 1972 to 1976, 83 of North Carolina's 100 counties shifted their partisan choice for President. That number has been declining ever since. Between 2016 and 2020, only three counties "swung" in terms of the majority of their partisan allegiances--the smallest number of swing counties during this entire time period.