Located on the South Carolina border, Anson is agricultural, rural, and predominantly African American. As of 2010, there were 26,948 residents. The county seat is Wadesboro. Historically, cotton played a role in the economic development of the county.
Due to its status as a Black Belt county, Democrats are assured of victory at all levels of government – federal, state, and local. Democrats control the County Commission, and President Obama won more than 60% of the vote here in 2012, besting his margin of victory from four years earlier.
1988: D+34 (Solid Democratic)
1992: D+29 (Solid Democratic)
1996: D+27 (Solid Democratic)
2000: D+20 (Solid Democratic)
2004: D+21 (Solid Democratic)
2008: D+14 (Strong Democratic)
2012: D+21 (Solid Democratic)
Forecast: Anson is not as Democratic as it used to be; white ‘Dixiecrat’ voters have shifted their loyalties to the Republican Party, especially at the federal level. But the high black population is a hurdle that Republicans cannot overcome. Winning the county outright is an impossibility, but at present Anson is represented by Republican Mark Brody in the State House, thanks to being in the same district as strongly Republican Union County. Anson is represented in the State Senate by Democrat Gene McLaurin, but the district is competitive. Anson is located in the 8th Congressional District, currently occupied by Republican Richard Hudson. Thus, Anson’s current representation belies its strongly Democratic tradition.
The county grew by 6.6% during the 2000s, which was below average. Since then, growth has slowed further, and population estimates show Anson losing residents. The white population is also not keeping pace with minority growth, so any possibility of Republican ascendance in the county is an extremely remote possibility. Going forward, Democrats are expected to be stronger than ever, as it is likely that a non-Obama Democrat in 2016 will do better with the county’s white voters.
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.