The Shifting North Carolina Electoral Demographics

For those who live in the Crystal Coast area, it is sometimes worth reminding ourselves that the dominant political attitudes here are not shared by all other areas of North Carolina, particularly the very blue center.  Nothing so far this election season has illustrated this better, at least to me, than the following graphic put up yesterday by Nate Cohn, a political reporter for the New York Times.  Cohn is getting the voting data each day from the NC Board of Elections, then using it to run some interesting comparisons.  The first notable factoid is that, through Thursday, the number of EARLY votes cast throughout North Carolina was almost equal to one-third of the TOTAL votes cast in the 2010 mid-term elections.


Although I was born in Raleigh, I only lived there through age six or so before my father moved us elsewhere in search of work.  I moved back to Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park area as an adult in 1966 for the same reason.  I sold all my Wake County property in 2011, so I was a resident of the greater triangle area for about 45 years.  Over that period, I had the unpleasant experience of seeing it turn from red to purple to blue, as IBM and many other national companies established a presence there and began to transfer employees in from other states.  Over the three years that I worked as an accountant for IBM-RTP (beginning in 1966), I listened to uncounted stories from my Yankee co-workers, most of them transferred in from plants in Armonk, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, and Buffalo, NY, about how wonderful it was to now be living in a locale with such great weather, friendly people, low taxes, and reasonable home prices, and about how miserably repressive the tax and regulatory burdens had been in New York and the other states of the northeast from whence they came.

During most of these conversations, it always struck me as curious, as well as unfortunate, that these co-workers, who felt such relief at having escaped the burdensome tax and regulatory structures of the northeastern states, continued the political voting patterns that had eventually resulted in those very burdens.

The influx of notherners into the Triad continued long after I left IBM, of course, probably until the present day.  And in my view, a major factor in the bluing of North Carolina has been that very influx.

The full article, HERE, also contains related information for Colorado and Georgia.