An article today in the Wilmington Star-News describes the shifting profile of voters in New Hanover County; it points out that nearly all the growth since 2008 has come from new voters who chose to affiliate with neither major party. Democracy NC released a report that provides loads of state-level data showing changes in who registers and who votes. Despite the chatter about demographic trends pointing to gains for Democrats, the numbers tell a more complex story: Democrats gained 51,500 new African-American voters between 2008 and 2012 but lost 72,800 white women and 66,500 white men. Registered Democrats wound up casting 53,000 fewer votes in 2012 than in 2008, while Republicans added 62,000 ballots and Unaffiliated voters added 164,000. On the enthusiasm index, Democratic African-American women had the highest rate of voting in 2012 (and 2008), followed closely by Republican white women. Whites are a gradually declining share of the electorate, but if a larger share of them becomes more conservative in how they vote, as happened in 2012 versus 2008, then demographics alone won’t define the future of North Carolina politics.
Category: Political News