North Carolina DataNet

Published since 1992, NC Data-Net offers an in-depth look at the numbers, trends and data that drive North Carolina politics and government. SouthNow is available in print subscription and .pdf via the web site. To subscribe to the print edition, send your name and mailing address to: Adobe Acrobat PDF versions of back issues are available below. (If you don’t have the Acrobat reader installed, you can download it for free from Adobe.)

Date Articles
July 2014 2014: Voters Born Elsewhere in N.C. Electorate The July 2014 issue of NC DataNet describes the geographic dispersion of voters who recently registered in North Carolina after moving from another state. You will find the full report through three links: 1) A 12-page issue of DataNet that you may download, 2) a collection of interviews of in-migrant voters by UNC journalism students, and 3) an interactive graphic that allows you to click on an icon and see how many voters to a particular state have registered to vote in each North Carolina county.
March 2013 2012: The Year of a Republican Wave How did North Carolina, which swung to Democrats in 2008, swing so decisively to Republicans in 2012? This issue of NC DataNet explores this question by examining the 2012 exit poll on both the presidential and gubernatorial races in the state.  There is also an examination of trends in voter performance in the major metropolitan counties.
October 2012 Profile of a Battleground Electorate There was an error on page four of this DataNet describing NC voters by party and ideology. We have posted a correction in the link following this summary.Three views of North Carolina as a battleground state in presidential elections: 1) through the prism of exit polls, 2) through voter-registration trends, and 3) through an examination of spending on TV spots. Electorate Change Correction
May 2012 Will ‘Obama spike’ re-emerge in 2012? A picture of the geography of partisan alignment in North Carolina, using voter registration and turnout data for all 100 counties across the 2000-2010 decade. Expanded NC Voter Registration and Turnout Data
July 2011 North Carolina’s ‘Big 15’ in Voter Turnout The implication of population shifts in 15 metropolitan counties with a growing base of unaffiliated voters and substantial numbers of unregistered Hispanic residents.
September 2010 The polling of North Carolina The 50th issue of DataNet provides a citizens guide to polling in the state, as well as a look at influential pollsters and the future of public opinion research.
October 2009 Legislative Electoral Trends Looking back at the 2008 legislative elections and looking ahead to the redistricting that will follow the 2010 Census.
April 2009 2008: A Tide-Changing Election Putting the most recent North Carolina elections in perspective.
October 2008 2008 North Carolina Election Primer Providing guidance in navigating the political trends and changes in the Tar Heel state. Statewide electorate information for scholars, journalists, and voters.
April 2008 Primary Turnout Data: Findings A look at differences in voter participation between party primaries and general elections.
December 2007 Director’s Note Exploring trends in campaign finance that propelled Democrats and resulting shifts within the state’s congressional delegation.
July 2007 Director’s Note Pulling together data from a variety of sources to present an analysis of electoral trends and campaign financing in appeals court elections.
April 2007 Legislative Spending Trends Up A look at the spending patterns of the 2006 candidates and demographics of the 2007–08 North Carolina House and Senate.
October 2006 NC Congressional Races Top the State Ballot The 13-member North Carolina delegation in the House of Representatives.
March 2006 The Continuing Cycle Analysis of the electoral, demographic and financial aspects of the 2004 legislative races.
July 2005 North Carolina’s Political Geography Analysis of the state’s contemporary political geography and the spending patterns of the four major statewide candidates.
April 2005 Straight-Party and Split-Ticket Voting Analysis of North Carolina voter trends, historical voting patterns, political geography by county, and media expenditures, with special focus on Presidential and gubernatorial races.
Fall 2004 2004 North Carolina Election Primer Analysis of North Carolina voter trends, historical voting patterns, political geography by county and campaign expenditures.
April 2004 A Changing Electorate Analysis of the impact that such growing segments of the electorate as Hispanics, Catholics, transplanted Northerners and unaffiliated voters are having on North Carolina politics.
November 2003 U.S. House Districts Reflect Partisan Divide Analysis of the electoral, demographic and financial aspects of the NC delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives elected in 2002.
June 2003 A Distinctive Legislature: The 2003-2004 General Assembly Analysis of the electoral, demographic and financial aspects of the 2002 legislative races.
March 2003 A Senator for a Metropolitan State: 2002 U.S. Senate Race Discussion of the political strategies, voting trends, and financial realities at work in the 2002 U.S. Senate election.
October 2002 2002 North Carolina Election Primer Comparative data on off-presidential election year voter trends, congressional elections, and General Assembly races.
September 2002 Non-Profit But Hardly Non-Influential Profiles of the Locke Foundation, NCFREE, the Common Sense Foundation, and the NC Budget and Tax Center Analysis of election trends in State Supreme Court race between 1990 and 2000 Discussion of judicial campaign reform in NC Comparison of the websites of the candidates for US Senate
March 2002 NC 2000 Governor’s Race Follow the Money: Campaign Spending in Governor’s Race 2000 Increased Competition Drives Up Costs of Races Hunt for Statewide Leadership Draws Big Spenders Polling in the 2000 NC Gubernatorial Race Best Election Predictors Are Counties That Look Like NC Labor Commissioner Goes Republican
October 2001 NC Congressional Districts Votes Just the Start of Long Redistricting Process Incumbent Wins Set Record Without Serious Challengers, Incumbents Still Spend Big Congressional Race Spending, 1992-2000 2nd District: Etheridge Stabilizes Swing District 8th District: Incumbency Turns Tight Race Into Easy Win 11th District: Incumbency Overcomes Scandal 1st & 12th Districts: Incumbents Survive Changing Districts Congressional Delegation Increasingly Diverse Voter Turnout Growing Faster Than Population GOP Delegates More Loyal to Party Than Democrats Parties’ Paths to Helms’s Seat
July 2001 2000 Presidential Election Bellwether Counties Result Maps, by county and congressional district Growth and Politics in 20th Century North Carolina Exploration of Assigning Presidential Electors by District Presidential and Congressional Voting Clearly Linked Phone and Mail Polls Deliver Consistent Results Exit Polls Show Gap Between NC and Nation Ticket Splitting Still Prevalent Primary Predicted Election Trends Primary and General Election Results Varied Widely
February 2001 2000 US Presidential and Gubernatorial Elections Mail vs. Telephone Polls Exit Polls vs. Actual Vote in the 1990s Automatic Computer Polling Job Approval Ratings and Incumbent Re-elections State vs. National Television Campaign Coverage Ambition Ladders for Governor and U.S. Senators Presidential and Gubernatorial Voting Trends Regional Representation in Statewide Offices Registration and Voter Turnout Voter Falloff Down the Ballot Election Results
November 2000 2000 Elections Primer for North Carolina 20th Century Presidential Voting in NC 20th Century Presidential Voting vs Gubernatorial Voting NC Voter Registration an Turnout in Presidential Election Years, 1960-1996 Growth of NC Registered Voters, 1968-April 2000 Growth of NC Voters in Presidential Elections, 1960-1996 Bellwether Counties in NC Gubernatorial Elections, 1960-1996 Jim Hunt as the Democrat’s Fire Wall Voter Falloff Down the Ballot in Recent Presidential Election Years 1984 General Election Results 1988 General Election Results 1992 General Election Results 1996 General Election Results 2000 General Election Results (scorecard)
June 2000 Historical Perspectives on NC Politics Turnout in NC’s Gubernatorial Primaries NC Party Registration: 1966-2000 Cost of Gubernatorial Elections Cost of U.S. Senatorial Elections Helms/Hunt Political Money A State Lottery for NC? USA Today’s Presidential Rankings versus NC’s Voting History NC DataNet’s New Home
March 2000 NC’s 1998 State Senate Elections NC State Senate Voting Results: 1968-1998 Trends in the Demographic Make-up of NC’s State Senate NC State Senate Results: 1992-98 Competitiveness in NC’s 1998 State Senate Elections NC’s Most Vulnerable State Senators in 1998 A Decade of Political Turmoil: NC from 1988 to 1998 How NC’s Most Vulnerable Senators of 1996 Fared in 1998 Seniority in the New Senate “Mother’s Milk” and the NC State Senate Elections
December 1999 NC’s 1998 State House Elections Voting for the NC General Assembly: Election Trends from 1968 to 1998 Trends in the Demographic Make-up of NC’s State House NC State House Results: 1992-1998 NC’s Most Vulnerable House Representative in 1996: How Did They Fare in 1998? NC’s Most Vulnerable House Representatives in 1998 Seniority in the New House How Did the Democrats Regain Control of the House in 1998? “Mother’s Milk” and the NC State House Elections
October 1999 1998 US Senate Race 1998 NC Senate Race: Party Money Plus Organization Led to Democratic Triumph Unity ’98: The NC Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign How Hollywood Helped Fund NC’s Democrats in 1998 Campaigning via the Internet: Edwards and Faircloth in ’98 Does Public Journalism Contribute to Better Campaign Coverage? What Difference Does It Make? The Arrival of Dem. Edwards in NC’s Second Senate Seat
June 1999 1998 US House Elections Congressional Voting Trends: 1968-1998 Demographic Trends in NC Congressional Elections: 1968-1998 Competitiveness in NC’s Congressional Districts: 1992-1998 District 2 Congressional Race District 4 Congressional Race District 8 Congressional Race NC’s Six “Safe” Republican Seats The 1st and 12th Districts in 1998 NC Congressional Campaign Costs CQ Analysis Map: 1998 Redistricting Plan
April 1999 Factionalism in the NC Republican Party The N&O’s Front-Page Political Coverage How Well Represented Are North Carolinians Today? Should NC Increase its Tobacco Tax? The Changing Political Status of “Carolina” Effectiveness of Internet Use in NC Political Campaigns The State of Childcare in NC
September 1998 Higher Education The State of Higher Education Higher Education Questions on the Fall ’97 Carolina Poll Gaps in How North Carolinians View Higher Education Support for State Spending on Private Universities Support for Affirmative Action in Higher Education Undergraduate Admissions at Four NC Universities Graduate Education in the US
May 1998 Talk Radio Talk Radio as a Virtual Community The World of Talk Radio The Recent Explosion in Talk Radio Who Listens to Talk Radio? Talk Radio in NC: 1997 Local vs. Syndicated Shows Rush is Everywhere (in NC) Locally Produced Shows
January 1998 1996 State Senate Elections NC State Senate Voting Results: 1968-1996 Trends in Demographic Make-up of NC’s State Senate NC Senate Results: 1988-1996 Competitiveness in NC’s 1996 Stare Senate Elections NC’s Most Vulnerable State Senators in 1996 How NC’s Most Vulnerable Senators of 1994 Fared in 1996 Seniority in the New Senate “Mother’s Milk” and the NC State Senate Elections
October 1997 1996 State House Elections Voting for NC’s General Assembly: Trends from 1968-1996 Trends in the Demographic Make-up of NC’s State House North Carolina State House Results, 1988-1996 Competitiveness in NC’s State House Districts in 1996 NC’s Most Vulnerable House Representatives in 1996 Seniority in the New House “Mother’s Milk” and the NC State House Elections Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and the NC Voter
June 1997 1996 US Senate and House Elections NC Congressional Voting Trends, 1968-1996 2nd District’s Etheridge Regains Traditional Democratic Seat 4th District Races in 1994 & 1996 The 7th District’s Post-Rose Era Bill Hefner’s 8th District NC’s Six Safe Republican Seats The 1st and 12th Districts in 1996 Cost of Congressional Campaigning in North Carolina Congressional Redistricting for 1998: by Which Numbers?
March 1997 1996 US Presidential and Gubernatorial Elections Choice Within NC Public Schools The Increasing Significance of the Metropolitan Vote Structure of the Electorate Impact of Younger Voters NC Support for Republican Presidential Candidates Helms’ Fifth Term No Surprise Council of State The Real Cost of NC’s Gubernatorial Elections New Hanover County: Still a Bellwether in 1996 Democratic Voting: Sampson County vs. NC Clinton, Hunt & Gantt in 1996 Dole, Hayes & Helms in 1996 Charting the Hayes-Vinroot Primary Vote NC Campaigns and the Web White NC Voters in the 1996 Elections
October 1996 Pre-1996 Election Primer Presidential Election Years in NC NC Voter Turnout Supporters of Hunt & Helms Are Mirror Opposites
September 1996 1996 Party Primaries Primary Turnout Lowest in 20 Years Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate: Gantt vs. Sanders Gantt: 1990 vs. 1996 Gantt and Black Voters Hayes vs. Vinroot 1996 The Metro Counties The 1996 Runoff Primaries Spring 1996 Carolina Poll: Campaign Finance Reform Interest in Presidential Campaign Best Friends Tobacco Farming & Use Computer Use Remote Control Use Vacations Poll Methodology
June 1996 Practical Politics The Art of Practical Politics Marketing Tools Make Political Campaigns More Complex, Expensive Poll Readers Beware! So-Called “Polls” that Mislead & the Media That Misreport Them Consultants Key to a Successful Foray in Politics Parties Trying to Regain Ground Polling Provides Candidates with Vital Opinions of Voters Subtlety Rules in Political Attack Ads Politicians Get Valuable Feed-back from Focus Groups Candidates, Media Often at Odds Even in the Public Eye, Candidates Duck Reporters NC Issues Poll: NC Growing Diversity Shifts Political Landscape Voter Gap Race Gap Gender Gap Income Gap Education Gap
March 1996 Republican Presidential Primaries in NC, 1972-1992 Democratic Presidential Primaries in NC, 1972-1992 1994 Election at the County Level Comparative State Population Structures NC Voters and the 1993 Bond Issues Who’s Afraid of Boss Hogg? The Beltline Phenomenon in Raleigh New Hanover Voters Reject a Doomed Merger Effort
September 1995 1994 State Senate Elections NC State Senate Voting Results, 1968-1994 Trends in Legislative Demographics NC State Senate Results, 1988-1994 Competitiveness in NC State Senate Districts The Most Vulnerable Senators, NC State Senate: 1994 Seniority in the New Senate “Mother’s Milk” and the NC State Senate Elections
August 1995 1994 State House Elections NC General Assembly Voting Results, 1968-1994 Trends in Legislative Demographics NC State House Results, 1988-1994 Competitiveness in NC State House Districts The Leaning Democratic Districts The Tossups–Spicing up the 1996 State Elections The Leaning Republican Districts The Safe Seats: Democratic and Republican The Most Vulnerable Representatives, NC State House: 1994 Seniority in the New House “Mother’s Milk” and the NC State House Elections
March 1995 1994 Congressional Elections in NC Analyzing NC’s congressional Voting Trends, 1968-1994 Redistricting and Race: Effects on the NC Congressional Delegation Individual District Analysis (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th, 11th) 1st and 12th: The Minority Race-Majority Districts Safe Republican Districts
January 1995 Rating Jim Hunt’s Performance as Governor Rating Bill Clinton’s Performance as President Carolina Poll Respondents’ Party Identification, 1982-1994 Carolina Poll Respondents’ Political Ideology, 1987-1994 Are the Democrats Really in Decline? Religion and Politics in NC The Growing Impact of The “Big 7” Counties in Governor’s Races N&O Polls, October/December 1994 Findings from the Fall 1994 Carolina Poll Trends in New Hanover County 1989-1994 Census 2000 Content Uncertain
November 1994 County Level Economic Development Efforts in NC Economic Analysis of NC’s Rural Counties NC’s Urban Areas: An Economic Development Perspective A Comparative Study of Small Business Incubators in NC Economic Development as a Career in NC Selected Data on NC Economic Development
May 1994 Recent Carolina Poll Results (Fall 1993, Spring 1994) Rating NC Public Institutions and Elected Officials NC’s Majority Party NC’s Elective Leadership, 1953-1993 Issues of Concern to New Hanover County Voters Black Office-Holding in NC
December 1993 The NC Media Views Itself Charlotte Observer Leads the Way in Election Coverage Reform ‘The Age of Indifference’ and the Media in NC Ideology and Partisanship in the NC Media News-gathering by North Carolinians in the 1990’s Governors and U.S. Senators
April 1993 Non-Traditional News Sources in the 1992 Presidential Campaign New Hanover County Still a Bellwether County What About Those Presidential Polls? Democratic Strength: Past, Present, Future Ticket Splitting at the Top: President, U.S. Senate, Governor Changes in Terry Sanford’s Support, 1986-1992 Voting Trends Among Whites in the 1992 Election The Clinton and Sanford Vote in the Greater Greensboro Area
October 1992 October Turnout in Presidential Elections 1960-1988 Plurality Politics in NC NC Politics: A View from New Hanover County