Thursday, April 09, 2009

Meat and potatoes of NC politics

This is for true political junkies who like to steep themselves in hard data about N.C. politics. It's North Carolina data-net, an online and print newsletter produced by the Program on Public Life at UNC Chapel Hill. Its Web site is www.southnow.org. It's honchoed by Prof. Ferrel Guillory, longtime journalist, political analyst and mentor to many who want to keep learning about Tar Heel politics.

The latest edition will soon be posted on this Web site and is loaded with data and analysis from the 2008 election with a focus on how the state's political demographics are changing, and where the leading candidates did well and not so well. At lot of it is new; some of it is not so new; all of it's good. Here are a few samples:

North Carolina is a competitive two-party state in which neither
Democrats nor Republicans have an assured partisan or ideological
majority. In keeping with findings from exit polls going back to the
1980s, 41 percent of voters defined themselves as Democrats, 31
percent Republicans and 28 percent independents. (The independent
figure may be somewhat high; 22 percent of North Carolinians
register unaffiliated.) Similarly, 44 percent of North Carolina voters call
themselves moderates, 37 percent conservatives and 17 percent liberals…..

Of the state’s economic development regions, Perdue received the
smallest percentage of the vote in the Charlotte region.

 Surprising to many, Perdue defeated Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory in
his home county, though just barely. The final difference was 337 votes,
with both candidates winning nearly 200,000 votes. In the counties
surrounding Mecklenburg, McCrory won all but Anson County and
did so clear manner. McCrory won the these remaining 10 counties
by an average margin of 31 percentage points and won by as much 40
percentage poins in Lincoln and Union counties.

 Perdue’s performance in the Charlotte region fell 10 percentage
points below Governor Easley against Patrick Ballantine in 2004, but
only 3.5 points below Easley’s 2000 margin against Richard Vinroot.

 Obama ran seven percentage points better than Perdue across the
Charlotte region and 13 percentage points better in Mecklenburg
County.

 Obama improved upon the vote total and percentages of previous
Democratic Presidential candidates, John Kerry and Al Gore. Obama
earned 7 percentage points more of the vote than Kerry and nearly 8
percentage points more than Gore

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