Bertie County, located in the northeastern part of the state, is one of the poorest areas of North Carolina. It also has the highest African American population of any North Carolina county, at 62.48%. Not surprisingly, the county is solid for Democrats at all levels, having not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon in 1972. The county seat is Windsor. The county is very racially polarized, like the rest of the Black Belt.
1988: D+35 (Solid Democratic)
1992: D+33 (Solid Democratic)
1996: D+31 (Solid Democratic)
2000: D+30 (Solid Democratic)
2004: D+26 (Solid Democratic)
2008: D+23 (Solid Democratic)
2012: D+29 (Solid Democratic)
Prognosis: Bertie County’s growth rate from 2000 to 2010 was 7.63% – below average, but impressive considering the county’s poverty. The white and black share of the population is approximately the same as it was ten years ago. The Hispanic population grew by 36.92%, but the county’s Hispanic share is still only 1.25%.
Interestingly, Bertie consistently trended toward Republicans until 2012, when increased black turnout caused the county to shift six points toward the Democrats. This almost certainly comes down to movement from white voters, and with Obama on the ballot, the white support for Republicans has probably peaked. Barring a massive shift in the preferences of black voters, the county will be solid for Democrats for the long term.
Trivia: Although Obama won Bertie County by a landslide, precinct W2 in central Bertie County was one of his worst precincts in the entire state. He received only 7.63% of the vote there. This precinct is the site of the town of Askewville, North Carolina.
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.