Looking back at voter turnout this November, Republicans gained ground in North Carolina for a somewhat obvious reason: registered members of the GOP showed up in droves while Democratic support waned.
In a new analysis, Democracy North Carolina points out that Democrats had 53,000 fewer voters than in 2008 while the overall turnout was up by nearly 200,000.
Said Bob Hall, the group's president: “North Carolina has a history of low voter participation that goes back to the Jim Crow era, when the poll tax, literacy test and other tactics told people that politics is for the privileged, the boss man, not for you.
“We’ve made considerable progress and are finally climbing out of the bottom tier of states, but we still have a long way to go to reach the participation levels of many northern states.”
A few noteworthy numbers from the analysis:
- The percentage of turnout by registered voters dipped to 68.3 percent, down from 69.6 percent in 2008, which was a record-setting number.
- Black registered voters turned out at a rate of 70.2 percent, exceeding the rates of 68.6 percent for whites and 54.3 percent for Latinos.
- It’s the second presidential election in a row that black voters in North Carolina have outperformed white voters.
The 2010 election was a rare case when men outperformed women, but in 2012 significantly more women showed up. The gap between the number of female and male voters exceeded 490,000 out of 4.5 million voters casting ballots.