Pender County is a coastal county, located just north of Wilmington. The county seat is Burgaw. It is named after William Dorsey Pender, of Edgecombe County, who was killed in the Battle of Gettysburg.

Presidential PVIs
1988: D+1 (Toss-Up)
1992: D+2 (Toss-Up)
1996: R+9 (Leans Republican)
2000: R+9 (Leans Republican)
2004: R+15 (Solid Republican)
2008: R+22 (Solid Republican)
2012: R+25 (Solid Republican)

Prognosis: Like most counties in eastern North Carolina, Pender backed conservative Democrats. Bill Clinton won the county by a solid 8-point margin in 1992. But Pender turned sharply against Clinton administration policies and backed his opponent, Senator Bob Dole, in 1996. Since then, it has given strong margins to Republicans at the federal level. Two factors accounted for this shift: one, conservative Democrats switching their loyalties to the Republican Party, and second, an influx of affluent retirees settling along the coast, many of them from up North. The county had a very strong growth rate of 27.10% during the 2000s. While the growth rate has slowed since then, it is likely that Pender will grow even more Republican. Notably, it is one of the few counties in the state that is getting whiter. The days of Democrats being competitive in Pender County are pretty much over.

Presidential election results in Pender County, 2012 (blue = Obama; red = Romney)

Presidential election results in Pender County, 2012 (blue = Obama; red = Romney)


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