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Bitzer on 2016 voter demographics in NC

If you want to get deep into voter demographics in North Carolina (and I know there are some nerds like me reading this and that you do), you need to be looking to Dr. Michael Bitzer, professor of political science and history at Catawba College.

Now that all the numbers are well and truly in, he’s put together this demographic look at the 2016 North Carolina voter stats [1], who came out and why.

From his piece:

In looking at this data, it seems that the Clinton strategy of trying to resurrect the Obama coalition, at least in North Carolina, failed to materialize, specifically among registered Democratic voters, black voters, and younger voters. But did Trump turn out new voters as he claimed he would?

In breaking down the 2016 electorate, I isolated those voters who were registered in 2012 and who didn’t cast a ballot four years ago but did this year.  Among these nearly 300,000 voters, 35 percent of them were registered Democrats, 35 percent of them registered unaffiliated voters, and 29 percent were registered Republicans. Among the racial composition of these new voters, nearly three-quarters were white, with 38 percent of these white voters being registered unaffiliated, 37 percent registered Republicans, and 25 percent registered Democrats.

However, among current registered North Carolina voters who voted in 2012 but didn’t show this year, 46 percent were registered Democrats, 28 percent were unaffiliated, and 26 percent were Republicans. Of the registered Democrats, 82 percent were black voters; if these 169,800 black Democrats had shown up, Trump’s margin of victory could have been significantly smaller, with nearly 90 percent of black voters casting ballots for Clinton, per exit polls [2].

Among white voters, registered Republicans were the largest segment (39 percent, or 165,000) who showed up in 2012 but did not vote in 2016; half of them were from urban counties. Trump brought out new voters this year, but the likelihood is that most of these new voters were unaffiliated. However, this bloc of new voters was enough to overcome the loss of Republican voters who stayed home. Clinton, meanwhile, didn’t have a bloc to make up for the loss of registered Democrats who chose not to vote.

Read the whole thing and check out the graphs.