Sunday, January 25, 2015

Generational Dynamics Reveal 2016's Potential Shift in North Carolina's Electorate

In a recent Pew Research report, Millennials (those born in 1981 up to the beginning of the new millennium) will overtake Baby Boomers (those born from 1945 to 1965, generally) as the nation’s largest living generation.  And, to quote a famous line drummed into history about the baby boomers, the torch is finally being passed to a new generation.

There is no doubt that the Millennials’ rise, as a techno-savvy, diverse, and highly educated generation, will impact the nation in a variety of ways, most notably through its politics. Some doubt the real impact of Millennials, however; Philip Bump, writing for the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, says that Millennials won’t matter very much in American politics until they get older. 

But in North Carolina, at least, the impact of the Millennial generation is being felt in the pool of potential voters, but not in the composition of voters casting ballots—at least, not yet.

In the database of registered North Carolina voters from the NC State Board of Elections and matching up records of those who cast ballots with their basic demographic information, the most interesting trend since 2000 has been the growing percentage of Millennials in the registered voter pool.

Since the beginning of the 21st Century, North Carolina voters in the Millennial generation have gone from 2 percent of the registered voter pool to 26 percent in 2014, while Baby Boomers have seen their proportion of the pool shrink from 45 percent down to 32 percent over the same time period.

The past trends suggest that between presidential elections in North Carolina, the percentage of the pool of registered Millennial voters increases 8 percent, with the percentage of the pool increasing 2 percent between presidential and mid-term election years. If these trends hold, then Millennial registered voters will go from 24 percent in 2012 to 32 percent in 2016, matching that year’s likely proportion of Baby Boomers in the state's eligible voter pool.

With nearly a third of the registered voters and many of them maturing into political participation, Millennials will begin to impact the state’s politics; and, in fact, they already are. 

Among Millennial voters, as of the end of 2014, 37 percent are registered Democrats, 37 percent are registered unaffiliated, and only a quarter of Millennial voters are registered Republican.  This may be one of the early demographic warning signs that some Republicans have been concerned about.

But as Bump noted, in the past two presidential and mid-term elections, Millennials have not shown up at comparable levels to their registration percentages.

In both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, 68 percent and 55 percent of Millennials cast ballots; however, in comparison, all other generations had higher percentages showing up, with Baby Boomers at 84 percent and 78 percent in 2008 and 2012, respectively. 

With the lower turnout rates, Millennials were only 13 and 19 percent in the 2008 and 2012 electorates, respectively, while Baby Boomers were 39 and 43 percent of the presidential elections.  This isn’t unheard of, since younger voters, no matter the generation, typically do not show up at the ballot box until they hold steady jobs, have families, and are more grounded in the economic and political system.

So while the Millennial generation’s overall numbers are signaling the critical shift in voter registration, that is the first sign of their growing level of importance. Whether one party, or both, recognizes the future wave of Millennials coming through the political system and respond will be the key test to see how much their generation begins to shape not just North Carolina, but the nation as a whole.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Some thoughts going into Election Evening

Here are some random thoughts on the US and NC elections prior to the polls closing at 7:30 (in the Old North State).

1. NC's US Senate Race could be a nail-bitter throughout the night.

The term 'constantly consistent' could be used to describe how the contest between Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis has been since the early summer.  The polls leading up to today have shown a race within the bounds of margins of error:

Based on the mid-term election fundamentals in North Carolina, this should be (by all accounts) a lean-GOP seat this year, but I think the level of polarization and competitiveness that North Carolina experiences in presidential years has bled over into mid-term years (more on both the lean-GOP and competitiveness in a moment).

The result is that most predictions are for a pure toss-up among those analysts (Charlie Cook, Stu Rothenberg) who use a variety of quantitative and qualitative measures, while the 'modeling' folks (538, Washington Post, HuffPost) are more likely to show a lean-Hagan tilt to the race.

It is still up in the air as to whether the U.S. Senate will need the N.C. race to determine whether the GOP claims control of the upper chamber of Congress or not. My thinking right now: there are many pathways (and a few obstacles) that the GOP can have to claim the 6 additional seats to capture majority control of the Senate. Both North Carolina and New Hampshire are probably more "canary in the coalmine" indicates of how the GOP may fare: if NC and NH remain in Democratic hands, then the Republicans will need some combination of red-states, such as Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana (most likely to go to run-off) and then one competitive purple state, say Iowa or Colorado, to make their numbers work--combined with holding both Georgia and Kansas, two states they probably hadn't bet on contesting.

2. Do we continue to see a polarized electorate?

Based on research from the 2012's general election by the American National Election Study, the traditional electorate looks something like this in a presidential year:

Granted, this isn't a presidential election year, so mid-term electorates generally become more Republican, more white, and older in comparison.

But when it comes to the polarization effect, the classification that one identifies with has a strong connection to one's voting behavior.

Between strong partisans to leaning-independents, the likelihood is that they will vote for their party 85 to 99 percent of the time.  Only "pure independents"--usually less than 15 percent of the national electorate--are the swing voters.

And here in North Carolina, we see a similar, albeit more "center-right" when it comes to independent voters, in voting behavior:

So we have an idea of how these voters will behavior when they show up--that's the next big question, though.

3. Who Shows Up?

In North Carolina, the lean-GOP factor in mid-terms are quite noticeable. Granted, the rise of North Carolina's unaffiliated voters has been quite dramatic over the past few election cycles:

But the question remains: do unaffiliated voters show up at the same rate as partisan registered voters?

With the marked boxes of the past two mid-term elections (2006 and 2010), registered unaffiliated voters don't show at the same level of partisan registered voters.

What this tells us is that the electorate, in past mid-terms in North Carolina, should lean to the right, in comparison to the pool of eligible, registered voters overall.

So, what might we see this year in terms of an electorate? Well, since we already have some votes cast (1.1M+ in early ballots), we see something that may appear "out of the ordinary" when it comes to mid-terms in the Old North State:

Registered Democrats are 48 percent of the early in person ballots that came in with 7 reduced days, while registered Republicans were 32 percent and registered unaffiliated voters were 20 percent.  This is much more in line with a presidential year percentage basis of early in person ballots than a mid-term electorate, which is typically 45 D/37 R/18 U.

Among those 2014 voters who cast in person early ballots and how they voted in 2010:

The notable thing is that one third of registered unaffiliated voters and one quarter of registered Democrats did not participate in 2010, either by not being registered, not living in the state, or simply not voting.

4. But even if these folks do show up to cast ballots, will they have anything in North Carolina beyond a competitive U.S. Senate race?

Not likely.

Nationally, the percentage of competitive U.S. House of Representative races has declined substantially, to basically a hand-full of races that aren't in one camp or the other.

In North Carolina, we mirror that trend with 13 non-competitive congressional districts, and with only one flipping tonight due to the current incumbent (Democrat Mike McIntyre in the 7th) not running for re-election.

This is due partly to redistricting and gerrymandering, and due partly to voters becoming locked into voting for their party candidates both at the top and going down the ballot.

This impacts even the North Carolina General Assembly, with the connection between how a legislative district voted for Obama and how the district voted for the Democratic legislative candidate.

So, in the end, the predictions I would make are the following:

  • Republicans retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Republicans gain majority control of the U.S. Senate, but the pathway there is unclear. I suspect Alaska, Arkansas, and Colorado flip to make the 51 needed, and there may be some other states that flip as well--most likely Iowa, Louisiana (in a December run-off). If Kansas goes independent, then the GOP needs Georgia, either tonight or in January, to build on the numbers.
  • North Carolina's Senate race may come down to a 2-3 percent margin of victory; right now, it seems like it could stay Democratic, but no bets as it is a coin-toss.
  • Republicans continue to have majority control of both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly: biggest question is, can Democrats break the 3/5 supermajority to crack the veto-override numbers in one or the other? If Democrats can, slight favor to doing so in the House rather than the Senate.
  • With GOP control of Congress, expect more partisan gridlock between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. And it won't be just in Congress as well--one of the key questions out of the National American Election Studies from 2012 was a question, "is there anything you like about the Democratic or Republican parties?" Sorting by partisanship and identification, you get this:

Partisans love their party, don't like the opposition, and even independent leaners are mirror images of each other.  Pure independents--well, a 'pox on both parties' is best to describe them.

Oh, and one other prediction: we won't get through Wednesday before someone asks "so what about 2016's presidential election?"

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Day Before Election Day, A Few Readjustments to NC's Early Voting Numbers

We've seen a slight revision in the numbers of NC early votes coming in today right before the big day on Tuesday.

The early ballots--civilian mail-in, military mail-in, in person one-stop, and overseas mail-in--are 1,191,162, with the vast majority--1,097,563--come in via in person one-stop balloting.

Of these 1.19 million ballots, 1,155,666 have been accepted and recorded as votes for tomorrow's election, with 35,496 ballots remaining outstanding that could come in via mail or in-person, due to sick or disabled voters having until 5 PM Monday to return request (corrected) their ballots.

So we will probably see some further slight movement, especially with mail-in ballots coming in over the next few days. 

As of today's numbers regarding those who have cast early in person ballots, the composition of the electorate remains the same as we've seen over the past few days: 

Cumulatively, registered Democrats are 48.5 percent of the ballots cast via in person early voting, registered Republicans are 31.1 percent of the ballots cast, and registered unaffiliated/Libertarian voters are 20.4 percent of the early ballots cast in person.  

These numbers are all significantly above 2010's numbers, which may be due to the competitive nature of the U.S. Senate race, the anger and resulting mobilization of Democrats against the GOP's state government, and the influence of $100 million into the state's airwaves.

For registered Democrats, they saw an additional 106,000 voters cast early in person ballots, registered unaffiliated voters saw 192,000 more voters, and registered Republicans saw 16,000 more voters than in the last mid-term election.  

While these total numbers of in person early ballots doesn't match the 2012 presidential year numbers, the proportion of this electorate is more similar to a presidential year than a traditional mid-term year in North Carolina.

The key, though, is that this year's mid-term election isn't anything like 2006 or 2010 in North Carolina, so we may have to deal with a new ballgame when it comes to 2014.

White voters are 71 percent of the in person early ballots cast, while black voters are 26 percent of these same ballots. That is a closer ratio to a presidential year performance than the 2010 performance by racial groups.

Among the party registration and how these 2014 in person early voters participated in the 2010 mid-term elections:

The key here is the significant plurality of registered unaffiliated voters (33 percent) and registered Democrats (25 percent) who did not participate (either due to the fact that they weren't in the state, weren't registered, or simply didn't vote) in 2010.  

Let the actual Election Day activities begin! GO VOTE! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NC's In-Person Early Voting Comes to An End

We have the final totals for the vast majority of early votes coming in for North Carolina's general election; a small number of mail-in ballots will continue to trickle in, but the numbers point to a substantial turnout by North Carolina voters through the early voting period.

Of all ballots requested:

Overall, using both the mail-in requests (including those ballots that have been requested and those returned and accepted so far) and the in-person early voting method, North Carolina has the potential of seeing 1,192,190 votes cast before Tuesday's election.

Of all ballots accepted as votes:

Out of this 1.19 million votes cast, 1,155,131 ballots (both by mail-in and in-person) have been accepted as votes for Tuesday's election counting, with the following breakdowns by the different methods of balloting:

Among these accepted mail-in and in-person ballots:

  • registered Democrats are 47.6 percent
  • registered Republicans are 31.9 percent
  • registered Unaffiliated voters are 20.3 percent
  • Women are 54.2 percent
  • White voters are 71.6 percent
  • Black voters are 25.0 percent

Of all accepted ballots that were cast in-person:

Out of the accepted ballots that were cast in-person by North Carolinians, 1,097,560 have been recorded for votes on Tuesday.  This represents 121 percent of the 2010 numbers on the last day of early in-person voting in 2010.  The cumulative totals for these accepted in-person early votes are:

  • registered Democratic voters cast 48.5 percent of the in-person accepted ballots, for a total of 532,026 ballots, representing 125 percent of the final day Democratic totals in 2010
  • registered Republican voters cast 31.1 percent of the in-person accepted ballots, for a total of 341,523 ballots, representing 105 percent of the final day Republican totals in 2010
  • registered Unaffiliated & Libertarian voters cast 20.4 percent of the in-person accepted ballots, for a total of 224,011 ballots, representing 145 percent of the final day unaffiliated/Libertarian totals in 2010.
  • Female voters ended up casting 54.1 percent of the in-person accepted ballots
  • White voters are 70.8 percent of the total in-person accepted ballots
  • Black voters are 25.8 percent of the total in-person accepted ballots
Saturday's daily total of 103,128 for accepted in-person ballots was:

  • registered Democrats: 48.5 percent
  • registered Republicans: 30.4 percent
  • registered Unaffiliated/Libertarians: 21 percent
  • Women: 53.5 percent
  • White voters: 65.4 percent
  • Black voters: 29.9 percent
The trend line in comparing the daily cumulative totals of in-person accepted ballots against the numbers in 2010, as measured by the days out from the election, show the sizable performance of registered Democrats and registered Unaffiliated voters over their numbers from four years ago:

Finally, the voters who have participated in this year's in-person early voting and comparing their voting behavior in 2010's mid-term election shows a significant number of registered Unaffiliated and Democratic voters showing up who didn't cast ballots four years ago:

Additional Analysis (as of 2 PM):

In looking at the voters who were registered to vote in 2010 but didn't vote in the mid-term four years ago, but did show up to cast an early ballot this year, we see some interesting numbers that could give us a clue on the ground game and interest level among the different groups of voters.

Among these 75,616 voters who cast 2014 in-person early ballots and were registered to vote in 2010 but didn't vote in 2010:

  • 40,986 are registered Democrats, representing 54 percent of these voters
  • 17,892 are registered Republicans, representing 24 percent of these voters
  • 16,597 are registered Unaffiliated voters, representing 22 percent of these voters
Among each party registration in terms of race:

Among registered Democrats who cast 2014 in-person early ballots and were registered in 2010 but didn't vote in that year's mid-term election, 54 percent are black voters, with 42 percent white.  Among registered unaffiliated voters, 77 percent are white, while 14 percent are black voters.

Additional Analysis (as of 5 PM):

Among the 2014 NC in-person early voters who were registered in 2010 but didn't vote that year, fifty percent of these voters were in twelve counties (in order of the largest number of total voters): Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford, Cumberland, Forsyth, Buncombe, Gaston, Durham, Union, Iredell, Pitt, and Catawba counties.

For registered Democrats, half of their 40K votes came from Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford, Cumberland, Forsyth, Durham, Buncombe, Gaston, Pitt, Union, Wayne, and Orange counties.

For registered Republicans, half of their nearly 18K votes came from Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford, Union, Gaston, Iredell, Randolph, Buncombe, Catawba, Forsyth, Cumberland, Davidson and Wayne counties.

For registered unaffiliated voters, half of their 16K votes came from Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford, Buncombe, Forsyth, Cumberland, Union, Durham, Gaston, Orange and Iredell counties.

For all the NC Counties, here are their numbers of 2014 in-person early voters who were registered in 2010 but did not vote in 2010:

DEM              LIB REP   UNA   TOTAL
MECKLENBURG 5481 15 1558 1952 9006
WAKE     3591 22 1250 1912 6775
GUILFORD 2806 11 910 815 4542
CUMBERLAND 1679 2 434 485 2600
FORSYTH  1551 3 520 496 2570
BUNCOMBE 1109 6 530 704 2349
GASTON   1002 4 690 412 2108
DURHAM   1482 4 161 421 2068
UNION    704 0 702 463 1869
IREDELL  633 0 578 378 1589
PITT     868 1 335 265 1469
CATAWBA  485 3 521 329 1338
WAYNE    691 1 388 184 1264
NEW HANOVER 603 4 293 357 1257
ALAMANCE 608 3 321 244 1176
RANDOLPH 381 2 558 228 1169
ORANGE   643 7 117 384 1151
CRAVEN   562 3 254 218 1037
NASH     517 1 310 173 1001
CABARRUS 452 1 305 226 984
ONSLOW   398 0 326 240 964
ROCKINGHAM 543 0 245 167 955
JOHNSTON 400 3 295 248 946
DAVIDSON 325 1 390 185 901
BURKE    422 1 232 220 875
ROWAN    367 0 301 182 850
CLEVELAND 529 0 165 112 806
HENDERSON 237 2 242 261 742
BRUNSWICK 280 1 197 209 687
ROBESON  506 1 44 79 630
MOORE    262 2 209 145 618
CALDWELL 208 1 277 126 612
RUTHERFORD 301 0 198 103 602
FRANKLIN 362 1 122 114 599
LENOIR   391 1 106 96 594
CARTERET 226 0 203 164 593
SCOTLAND 399 0 64 128 591
LEE      353 0 140 97 590
CHATHAM  301 0 102 179 582
GRANVILL 392 0 78 108 578
HARNETT  336 1 148 91 576
EDGECOMB 485 0 43 41 569
SURRY    242 1 216 98 557
LINCOLN  217 1 196 113 527
WILSON   354 0 114 59 527
BEAUFORT 319 2 110 91 522
HALIFAX  376 1 32 79 488
VANCE    348 1 63 62 474
SAMPSON  283 1 103 67 454
STANLY   189 2 155 106 452
HOKE     292 2 44 79 417
PERSON   242 1 79 91 413
RICHMOND 275 0 62 73 410
PASQUOTANK 212 1 56 79 348
PENDER   175 3 83 81 342
HAYWOOD  182 1 56 85 324
TRANSYLVANIA 129 1 67 102 299
WILKES   88 0 144 65 297
COLUMBUS 214 0 36 42 292
ALEXANDER 112 1 114 64 291
DARE     117 1 71 80 269
STOKES   114 1 88 51 254
WATAUGA  90 3 49 97 239
MCDOWELL 77 1 93 60 231
DAVIE    66 0 97 60 223
WARREN   185 0 12 21 218
MACON    71 0 59 68 198
BLADEN   129 0 25 36 190
JACKSON  102 0 39 44 185
BERTIE   146 0 12 23 181
PAMLICO  106 0 37 36 179
ANSON    151 0 10 14 175
DUPLIN   118 0 36 18 172
MARTIN   119 0 21 27 167
MADISON  85 1 36 40 162
CASWELL  118 1 18 23 160
ASHE     47 0 52 41 140
POLK     37 0 44 58 139
SWAIN    72 1 30 34 137
GREENE   85 0 14 32 131
YANCEY   55 1 42 30 128
CHEROKEE 34 0 56 30 120
ALLEGHANY 63 1 29 25 118
MITCHELL 19 0 64 34 117
MONTGOMERY 68 0 19 25 112
WASHINGTON 92 0 9 11 112
CHOWAN   65 0 26 16 107
NORTHAMPTON 89 0 6 8 103
YADKIN   27 0 54 19 100
HERTFORD 64 0 7 18 89
PERQUIMAS 49 0 15 14 78
CAMDEN   31 0 20 24 75
CURRITUCK 24 0 19 27 70
CLAY     22 1 14 27 64
GRAHAM   19 0 21 17 57
AVERY    7 1 33 14 55
JONES    27 0 20 8 55
GATES    43 0 2 7 52
TYRRELL  20 0 1 3 24
HYDE     13 1 0 0 14

Saturday, November 1, 2014

All NC Early Votes Reach 1 Million

North Carolina has reached over a million accepted ballots (or votes) cast before Election Day, through the combination of mail-in and in-person early voting.

So far, 1,045,295 ballots (corrected) have been accepted as early votes through the two early voting methods (both mail-in and in-person).  There is currently another 41,047 mail-in and 479 in-person ballots that have not been accepted as early votes.  

Among the cumulative 991,945 in-person accepted ballots cast so far:

  • 48.5 percent are from registered Democrats
  • 31.2 percent are from registered Republicans
  • 20.2 percent are from registered Unaffiliated voters
  • 54.2 percent are from female voters
  • 71.3 percent are from white voters
  • 25.4 percent are from black voters
Among the 158,270 accepted in-person ballots cast on Friday, October 31:

  • 47.1 percent were from registered Democrats
  • 32.0 percent were from registered Republicans
  • 20.7 percent were from registered unaffiliated voters
  • 55.3 percent were from female voters
  • 70.2 percent were from white voters
  • 26.0 percent were from black voters
In comparing the same-day cumulative totals of accepted in-person ballots to the 2010 mid-term election:

  • total cumulative accepted in-person ballots are running at 120 percent of the total same-day number from 2010
  • registered unaffiliated voters are running at 142 percent of their total same-day number from 2010
  • registered Democratic voters are running at 124 percent of their total same-day number from 2010
  • registered Republican voters are running at 103 percent of their total same-day number from 2010
Of the 2014 voters who have cast accepted in-person early ballots so far, a majority of registered Republicans used the same voting method four years ago, while significant pluralities of registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters used the same voting method. What is interesting is a significant plurality of registered unaffiliated voters who did not participate in 2010's mid-term elections (whether they were not in the state, not registered, or didn't cast a ballot):

Finally, I looked at the 'regionalism' of the accepted in-person early votes cast so far in 2014. Much has been made about how the division in North Carolina partisan politics has taken on the urban vs. rural tint.  So far, among the accepted in-person early ballots cast, 37 percent are coming from urban counties, 19 percent from suburban counties, and 44 percent are from rural counties. This is a typical regional breakdown within the state for a general election.

Among the three types of counties, in looking at the party registration within each area, we find the following breakdowns:

Within the urban counties of North Carolina, 54 percent the ballots are coming from registered Democrats, 26 percent from registered Republicans, and 20 percent from registered unaffiliated voters.

Within suburban counties, 43 percent are from registered Democrats, 36 percent from registered Republicans, and 21 percent from registered unaffiliated voters.

Within rural counties, 47 percent are from registered Democrats, 34 percent from registered Republicans, and 19 percent from registered unaffiliated voters.

One of the key things to consider is the division between urban and rural Democrats: urban Democrats tend to be more liberal than their rural counterparts (in fact, there is still the generation of rural North Carolina Democrats who are generally more conservative and, in all actuality, vote Republican in the voting booth). 

Among just registered Democrats who have cast accepted in-person early ballots so far, urban Democrats are 41 percent and rural Democrats are 42 percent, with suburban Democrats only 17 percent.

With today (Saturday, November 1) being the last day of the in-person early voting period, we will see if we can reach the 1 million mark in terms of accepted in-person early votes. The weather may play some influence, especially in the western mountains that tend to be more Republican in nature. 

More analysis will be posted later today and on Sunday about the final numbers posted for accepted, in-person early balloting. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

NC Nears The End of 2014's In-Person Early Voting

With today's and Saturday's early voting, North Carolina will finish up the process leading into next Tuesday's election. And with the numbers we are seeing in accepted early ballots, we may be seeing a different kind of electorate than what we saw in the last mid-term election.

As of Thursday, a total of 926,451 early ballots were submitted, either by in-person (90 percent) or via mail (10 percent).  This represents nearly a third of the almost 2.7 million ballots that were cast in the state's 2010 mid-term election.

Of the 831,665 accepted in-person early ballots submitted across the state so far:

  • accepted in-person early ballots from registered Democrats are 48.7 percent
  • accepted in-person early ballots from registered Republicans are 31 percent
  • accepted in-person early ballots from registered Unaffiliated and Libertarian voters are 20.1 percent
  • women are 54 percent
  • white voters are 72 percent
  • black voters are 25 percent

If we compare the same-day total to 2010's same-day total, this year's numbers are 119 percent from where they were four years ago.  Registered Republicans have finally caught up to their 2010 numbers, with two days to go in early ballots; however, ballots from unaffiliated voters are 140 percent of where they were four years ago, and Democratic ballots are 125 percent of where they were in 2010.

For yesterday's daily totals of accepted in-person early ballots:

  • Ballots from registered Democratic voters was 47 percent
  • Ballots from registered Republicans was 32 percent
  • Ballots from registered unaffiliated voters was 20 percent
  • Women cast 56 percent of the ballots yesterday
  • Whites cast 72 percent of the ballots
  • Blacks cast 25 percent of the ballots
The trend line comparison shows the increase of both registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters having surpassed the same-day totals from four years ago, with the GOP finally catching up to their numbers:

Of the voters who have cast accepted in-person early ballots so far and how they participated in the 2010 mid-term election:

Finally, I looked at the racial composition of the voters who have submitted in-person early ballots and how they voted in 2010's mid-term election:

What is striking is the increase in both white unaffiliated/Libertarians and black Democrats who did not vote in 2010 but have cast in-person early ballots this year. This will be important to see how this mix of non-2010 voters may have some impact on this year's electorate and ultimate voting.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

NC's In-Person Early Voting Continues to March Ahead of 2010's Numbers

North Carolina's early voting continues its march ahead of where the state was four years in the last mid-term election; among all early voting methods (in-person and mail-in balloting), 731,251 ballots have been accepted for November 4th's election.

Among those accepted in-person early ballots, 689,682 votes have cast, equal to 115 percent of the same day total in 2010.  Among these cumulative accepted in-person ballots cast:

  • registered Democrats are 49 percent
  • registered Republicans are 30.8 percent
  • registered Unaffiliated voters are 20 percent
  • Women are 54 percent
  • White voters are 72 percent
  • Black voters are 25 percent
Among the 129,842 ballots that were cast in-person on Wednesday, October 29:

  • registered Democrats were 48 percent
  • registered Republicans were 32 percent
  • registered Unaffiliated voters were 20 percent
  • Women were 55 percent
  • White voters were 72 percent
  • Black voters were 25 percent
In comparing the trend lines of this year's accepted in-person early ballots against the same day totals in 2010:

  • Registered Democrats are 122 percent of the same day total from their 2010 numbers
  • Registered Unaffiliated voters are 135 percent of the same day total from their 2010 numbers
  • Registered Republicans are 95 percent of the same day total from their 2010 numbers
Of the voters who have cast in-person early ballots so far, a slim plurality among party voters used the same voting method four years ago:

What again is notable is that 30 percent of registered unaffiliated & Libertarian voters (Libertarians being a very small percentage of that number) did not participate in the 2010 election, due to not voting, or not being registered, or not living in the state. 

With three more days of in-person early voting left in North Carolina, the shortened time period for early voting seems not to have caused an issue, with Democrats and, surprisingly, unaffiliated voters taking advantage of this period before Election Day.