Category: NC Politics

Let's take a look at voter registration trends in NC and results from the 2012 election and see if we can get a sense for where NC is headed..

Here are how the NC voter registrations changed for 2012 (January to November):

Democrat: +137,365
Republican: +96,993
Libertarian: +6,551
Unaffiliated: +185,160

Notice that the "Unaffiliated" or independent voter registrations increased almost as much as both the Republicans and Democrats combined.

And how did those registered voters vote once they got in the voting booth?

Votes for Obama in NC: 2,156,341 (75% of registered Democrats)
Votes for Dalton in NC: 1,913,329 (66% of registered Democrats)
Straight party Democrat votes: 1,403,246 (49% of registered Democrats)
Registered Democrats in NC: 2,871,024

Votes for Romney in NC: 2,252,830 (109% of registered Republicans)
Votes for McCrory in NC: 2,422,294 (118% of registered Republicans)
Straight party Republican votes: 1,099,370 (50% of registered Republicans)
Registered Republicans in NC: 2,052,481

Votes for Johnson in NC: 43,956 (227% of registered Libertarians)
Votes for Howe in NC: 93,460 (483% of registered Libertarians)
Straight party Libertarian votes: 24,772 (127% of registered Libertarians)
Registered Libertarians in NC: 19,335

Total Unaffiliated voters in NC: 1,702,972

So what are some of the takeaways from the 2012 race?

2012 was a divisive election for North Carolina, with an unpopular Republican candidate and an incumbent Democrat who had lost the hearts of many in his own party. Since that election the parties have struggled to regain the trust of their base and the voter registrations show that they haven't been very successful.
Here are the voter registration changes for 2016 (January to Oct 8):

  January 2016 October 8 2016 Diff
Democrat 2,631,120 2,689,045 +57,925
Republican 1,960,460 2,044,281 +83,821
Libertarian 27,862 30,310 +2,448
Unaffiliated 1,816,100 2,005,606 +189,506

Notice that the independent voter registration increased more than both the Democrats and Republicans combined.

The voter registration changes since the 2012 election are even more bleak for the two parties:

  Nov 2012 October 8 2016 Diff
Democrat 2,870,693 2,689,045 - 181,648
Republican 2,052,250 2,044,281 - 7,969
Libertarian 19,321 30,310 + 10,989
Unaffiliated 1,706,924 2,005,606 + 298,682

And if we look even further back at the registration changes since Jan 2008 we find that the Democrats and Republicans of NC are both losing not just the battle, but the war of registrations:

  Jan 2008 October 8 2016 Diff
Democrat 2,511,446 2,689,045 +177,599
Republican 1,919,575 2,044,281 +124,706
Libertarian 0 30,310 +30,310
Unaffiliated 1,173,399 2,005,606 +832,207


Based on this data can we make a wild stab at the outcome of the 2016 election? Nope. There are too many skeletons coming out of the closet from two of the most disliked Presidential candidates in history to even try.

What we can take away from this data: