Originally posted at Dr. Michael Bitzer’s blog, Old North State Politics. Dr. Bitzer is a professor of politics and history at Catawba College. He’s a frequent analyst and commentator on news and public affairs programs because of understanding and knowledge of Southern politics, particularly in the Carolinas. You can reach him at politics at catawba dot edu or follow him on twitter at @CatawbaPolitics.
As we’re getting close to putting another week of early mail-in absentee balloting in North Carolina into the record book, there’s a movie title that comes to mind that was raised by a long-time observer of the Old North State’s politics: ‘Reversal of Fortune.’
Through yesterday (Thursday, Oct. 2), the number of requested mail-in ballots stood at 22,674, an increase of nine percent over the previous day’s total.
Among those ballots requested and sent out through October 2nd, the percentages have tracked consistently: 41% going to registered Democrats, 35% to registered Republicans, and 24% to registered unaffiliated voters. If you consider that the eligible pool of all registered voters in North Carolina is 42% registered Democrats, 30% registered Republicans, and 27% registered unaffiliated, Democrats are close to their average, Republicans are overperforming their numbers, and unaffiliated voters are slightly underperforming.
Requests by female voters are still at 56% of the requested ballots, with white voters at 83% and black votes at 12%.
Among those voters who have returned their ballots and have had them accepted, 4,237 are banked votes at this point, for a return rate of 19% from the requested number of ballots.
Registered Democrats are continuing their trends of being the plurality of votes coming in, with 44% of the accepted ballots coming from Democrats to 35% from registered Republicans and unaffiliated votes are at 21%. This is a ‘reversal’ from 2010’s numbers, where registered Republicans (at this point out from Election Day) were 44% of returned ballots and Democrats were 37% of returned ballots; unaffiliated voters were 18%.
Women are 53% of the returned and accepted ballots, with whites at 83% and black voters at 14%.
This performance by registered Democrats certainly can’t be translated into ‘assured votes’ for their party’s candidates, especially at the U.S. Senate level, but it does give Democrats, as Cameron Joseph of The Hill wrote about this morning, hope that NC’s race can be a positive in what has become a toss-up election cycle for control of the upper chamber.
Finally, the next update will come Monday when we get today’s numbers from over the weekend. Hope all have a good weekend.