Friday, October 24, 2014

First Day of NC In-Person Early Voting Nets 118K

North Carolina's start to in-person early voting witnessed 118,063 voters come out to cast their ballots.  In comparison to this point in 2010, with seven extra days for voters to have cast ballots and with 252,000 votes cast then, we're at 47 percent of where we were at this point in the last mid-term election.

The break-downs of early voters so far shows Democrats at their traditional numbers:

In-Person early votes cast by registered Democrats were 51 percent, registered Republicans were 29 percent, and registered unaffiliated & Libertarian voters were 20 percent.

In comparing the trend line against the 2010 in-person early voting:

As we will probably see the numbers slightly adjust over the next few days, the early indications are that registered Democrats are performing at their traditional percentage levels for in-person early voting.  In just one day of in-person early voting, registered Democrats have doubled their mail-in returned and accepted ballots.

In terms of mail-in ballots, the following graphs show the trends that have been posted at this blog:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Getting Ready to Compare 2010 & 2012 In-Person Early Voting for 2014's

Now that North Carolina has seen the first day of in-person early voting come to end, we just have to wait for the NC State Board of Elections to release the numbers, sometime early Friday morning.

Until then, a little refresher on what we saw in 2010 and 2012 in 17 days of in-person early voting (reminder: this year's in-person early voting is only ten days) in the Old North State.

In 2010, a little over 904,000 ballots came during the state-wide in-person early voting period in the last mid-term election, with ballots from registered Democrats being anywhere from 44 to 47 percent of the cumulative totals, registered Republicans generally at 36 to 38 percent, and unaffiliated voters at a constant 17 percent of the total votes for each day.

Registered Democrats ended up with nearly 426,000 votes, registered Republicans a little over 325,000, and registered unaffiliated voters casting a little over 153,000 in-person early ballots in the last mid-term election.

In 2012's presidential election, nearly 2,550,000 in-person early votes were cast, with registered Democrats being anywhere from 45 percent to 60 percent of the ballots cast each day, with registered Republicans anywhere from 20 percent to 35 percent, and unaffiliated voters ranging from 16 to 24 percent of the daily totals.

By the end of in-person early voting in 2012, 1.2 million ballots had come from registered Democrats, 767,560 from registered Republicans, and 520,694 from registered unaffiliated voters.

It will be interesting to see where 2014's numbers are: whether they are more like a traditional NC mid-term election (2010) or a presidential election (2012).  It is unlikely that they would be anything like 2012, but perhaps closer to to that level than to 2010's would be an early guess.

Talking Early Voting, Sean Haugh, and Latino Voters in NC

Had the opportunity to chat with Marshall Terry at WFAE this morning on a variety of topics as we move into the final stretch.

NC Starts In-Person Early Voting Today & Continues Mail-In Early Voting

With the start of 10 days of in-person early voting in North Carolina, mail-in early balloting also continues, with 78,173 requests for mail-in ballots so far:

Among these mail-in ballots:

  • requests from registered Republicans are 44 percent
  • from registered Democrats are 32 percent
  • from unaffiliated voters are 24 percent
  • women are 56 percent
  • white voters are 85 percent
  • black voters are 10 percent
Among the 22,293 returned and accepted mail-in ballots:

  • registered Republicans are 42 percent
  • registered Democrats are 36 percent
  • registered unaffiliated voters are 23 percent
  • women are 55 percent
  • white voters are 85 percent
  • black voters are 11 percent
So far, 29 percent of the requested ballots have been returned and accepted.

In terms of the percentage increase over the last mid-term election regarding mail-in ballots:

Registered Republicans are slightly below their 2010 numbers (down 3 percent), while registered unaffiliated voters are up 31 percent and Democrats are up 17 percent over their 2010 numbers.

In looking at the 2010 numbers, I also wanted to see what this year's performances in mail-in balloting by the different party registrations to a presidential year, 2012.  First, I looked at the actual numbers in a comparison to both 2010 and 2012 for each party registration pool. 

Registered Republicans are performing in between their 2010 and 2012 mail-in performance, so above their 2010 mid-term performance but below their 2012 presidential year performance; for both registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters, however, their numbers are more like a presidential year performance than a mid-term election.  

Another way to look at this trend is by comparing the portion of registered voters in each party pool by their mail-in percentage.

Again, Republicans are acting in between their 2010 mid-term and 2012 presidential year performance, but both Democrats and unaffiliated voters are mirroring their 2012 trend line as opposed to their 2010 mid-term trend line.

Might this mean that while Republicans are performing as expected, and in fact a bit better than their mid-term year performance trend, both Democrats and unaffiliated voters are acting as if it's a presidential election year instead of a mid-term election year?

Perhaps these trend lines are indicative of the energy on the ground in North Carolina and why the U.S. Senate race is such a competitive contest. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Requested NC Mail-In Absentee Ballots Close to 75K

As we get ready to see how in-person early voting hits the polls in North Carolina, starting on Thursday, October 23, the number of mail-in absentee ballot requests are close to crossing the 75,000 mark, a significant increase over 2010's nearly 46,000 requests this same day prior to the election.

Among these requested ballots, registered Republicans have expanded their share of the requests, to 44 percent while registered Democrats are at 32 percent and registered unaffiliated voters are at 24 percent.

Women are 56 percent of the requested ballots, ticking up slightly over the past few days, while men are 43 percent. White voters are 85 percent, higher than they have been, while black voters have dropped to 10 percent of the requested ballots.

Among the nearly 20,000 returned and accepted ballots (19,930 total, as 27 percent of the requested so far), registered Republicans have taken their small percentage lead in these ballots as well.

Registered Republicans are 41 percent of the accepted ballots, compared to 37 percent for registered Democrats and 22 percent for registered unaffiliated voters.  Female voters are 54 percent, white voters are 85 percent, and black voters are 11 percent.

Following tomorrow's start to in-person early voting, I'll be shifting the emphasis of the blog posts to those votes, but will continue to track by the graphics the mail-in ballots, as this race continues to be the closest of contests at the U.S. Senate level.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nearly 70K Mail-In Ballots Requested in NC's General Election

North Carolina is now up to nearly 70,000 requested mail-in ballots for the general election, significantly up from the more than 43,000 requests on the same day prior to the election in 2010.

Among the 69,487 requests for mail-in absentee ballots:

  • Registered Republicans have requested 44 percent of the mail-in ballots
  • Registered Democrats are 32 percent
  • Registered unaffiliated voters are 24 percent
  • Women are 56 percent
  • White voters are 85 percent, a slight increase in their percentage
  • Black voters are 10 percent, a slight decrease

Among the 16, 821 ballots that have been returned and accepted (a 24 percent return rate so far), registered Republicans have taken a slight lead in their numbers:

  • registered Republicans are 39 percent
  • registered Democrats are 38 percent
  • registered unaffiliated voters are 22 percent
  • female voters have inched up to 54 percent
  • white voters are 84 percent, while black voters are 11 percent 
The percentage increase over 2010's numbers have slipped somewhat for Democrats, with registered unaffiliated voters now having the largest increase over their same-day totals:

As interest in early voting continues to grow across the nation and in North Carolina, the questions continue to be raised about these voters and what they may have done in 2010's mid-term election. In looking at today's data and comparing these voters against the 2010 voter records, we see a significant plurality of 2014 voters, especially among registered unaffiliated and Democratic voters, requesting mail-in ballots who did not participate in the 2010 mid-term election.

With Thursday's start of in-person absentee voting, the shift of this blog will go to that voting method on Friday, but I'll continue to track the overall numbers of this important votes in this heavily contested state.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Moving into Final 2 Weeks of NC's General Election Campaign

As we move into the final two weeks of North Carolina's general election campaign, we are seeing a definite uptick in mail-in ballots requested, especially by registered Republicans, along with a tightening of the returned and accepted ballots between both Democrats and Republicans.

At this point, with 64,255 requests in for mail-in ballots as of Saturday, Oct. 18 (18 days out from the election), 2014 has easily surpassed 2010's same-day total by over 22,000 requests. 

Among these 64K requested mail-in ballots:
  • registered Republicans are 43 percent of the total requests
  • registered Democrats are 33 percent
  • registered unaffiliated voters are 24 percent
  • female voters are 56 percent
  • white voters are 84 percent
  • black voters are 11 percent
Among the 14,678 ballots that have been returned and accepted (23 percent of the requested ballots so far):

  • Registered Democrats and Republicans are tied at 39 percent each
  • registered unaffiliated voters are 22 percent
  • women are 54 percent of the returned and accepted ballots
  • white voters are 84 percent
  • black voters are 12 percent

While registered Democrats and Republicans are now tied in their returned and accepted ballots, registered Republicans are slightly below their 2010 corresponding numbers, while Democrats are 43 percent ahead and registered unaffiliated voters are 37 percent ahead of where they were in 2010 on the same day.

I also ran some analyses using these numbers, first by dividing up the counties into urban, suburban, and rural classifications and comparing the numbers to the 2010 percentages as well.

Democrats and unaffiliated voters are over-performing their 2010 performance in all three regional areas, while Republicans have seen their 2014 shares cut significantly (down 7 to 8 percent).

Finally, I compared the final party registration percentages for mail-in balloting in the 2006-2012 general elections with the 10-19-14 totals so far:

Democrats are near their 2006 percentage total (a Democratic wave year) while unaffiliated voters have matched their best percentage (2012's general election).  Another week of early mail-in balloting (requests are due by October 28), along with the start of in-person early voting this Thursday (October 23), will dramatically reshape these percentages, of course, but early numbers continue to indicate something is different in this year's mid-term election performance so far in North Carolina.