Here’s another fun map, this time of turnout by county for the 2014 general elections in North Carolina. As you can see, there are a few regional patterns but as a whole the colors look pretty random.
The five counties with the best turnout:
1. Alleghany (59.84%)
2. Yancey (59.35%)
3. Chatham (58.97%)
4. Pamlico (57.68%)
5. Beaufort (54.93%)
Two small mountain counties top the list, followed by Chatham, which always posts good turnout rates. Pamlico and Beaufort also reported strongly; for some reason the entire Pamlico Sound region saw a lot of voters come out to the polls. I would say that’s because the area saw both a competitive NC Senate race and a competitive NC House race, but that doesn’t explain Pamlico County, which saw neither.
And the five counties with the worst turnout:
96. Cumberland (37.38%)
97. Pasquotank (36.27%)
98. Hoke (34.56%)
99. Robeson (33.82%)
100. Onslow (32.72%)
All of these, with the exception of Onslow at the very bottom, are counties that tend to vote Democratic. Cumberland, Hoke, and Onslow have substantial military populations, which also skew younger, explaining the low turnout rate there. Both Robeson and Pasquotank have large nonwhite populations and also are the site of two universities, Elizabeth City State and Pembroke.
Probably the most significant statistic is the low turnout rate in Mecklenburg County – 38.89%, seventh from the bottom. Partisan turnout figures will need to be examined to determine what happened there, but in the richest source for Democratic votes in the state, it’s probably not a good thing for Kay Hagan that Mecklenburg voters failed to show up.
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.