Iredell County is located north of Charlotte; it had a population of 159,437 as of 2010. The county seat is Statesville, but the largest town is Mooresville, in the southern part of the county.
[Iredell County] is a major hub of NASCAR racing, with many race shops located in the county (mostly around Mooresville). Universal Technical Institute operates NASCAR Technical Institute under licensing agreements. The school offers racing-related instruction to prepare the student for their job search in the racing industry. Many NASCAR drivers live around Mooresville and Lake Norman. Although northern Iredell County has retained much of its rural character, the southern half of the county is experiencing rapid suburbanization and population growth, largely due to the immense popularity of the Lake Norman area for residents of nearby Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city.
Farming is still a major source of income for many Iredell County residents. Dairy farming has been particularly popular in Iredell County for centuries, in both the northern and southern sections of the county. However, the rapid population growth and development in southern Iredell County is putting increasing pressure on farmlands, and many farms in this section are giving way to shopping centers, housing developments, and large corporate office parks.
1988: R+27 (Solid Republican)
1992: R+22 (Solid Republican)
1996: R+30 (Solid Republican)
2000: R+31 (Solid Republican)
2004: R+33 (Solid Republican)
2008: R+32 (Solid Republican)
2012: R+35 (Solid Republican)
Forecast: Politically, Iredell is similar to Union County, which is located to the east of Mecklenburg. Like most of its neighbors, Iredell is solidly Republican and has been that way for a long time. The last time Iredell went for a Democrat for President was in 1976 for Jimmy Carter.
The county is divided between north and south. The north is very rural and underdeveloped, the south contains the town of Mooresville and is pure exurbia. But both north and south is overwhelmingly Republican; the only area where Democrats find support is in the center of the county, in Statesville.
While most growth in North Carolina has favored Democrats, Iredell’s booming population has not translated into increased support for Democratic candidates. In fact, the county is more Republican than ever. The growth rate during the 2000s was 29.98% and has slowed down considerably since then – Iredell’s neighbor Cabarrus is the Charlotte exurb county now seeing the fastest growth.
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.