North Carolina Isn’t Fooled

December 5, 2021

New polling from Carolina Forward shows quickly shifting political sands in North Carolina:

  • Following the hotly contested redistricting process that devolved into a naked partisan power grab, a huge swath of North Carolina voters say they have no confidence in the fairness of the state’s new maps.
  • President Biden’s approval rating shows a rebound, up 3 points since late September.
  • North Carolina’s electorate is almost evenly divided between natives of the state and voters who have moved here.

North Carolina’s map-drawers have a credibility problem with the public.

In the most recent polling from Carolina Forward, conducted between November 30th and December 1st, a huge swath of voters indicated that they believe the new Congressional and legislative maps drawn by state lawmakers were not fair:

Not even 1 in 5 North Carolina voters indicated confidence in the fairness of the maps Republican lawmakers drew in the redistricting process, which was widely panned as a blatant partisan power grab through gerrymandering. (Be sure to check out Carolina Forward’s own analysis of the State House and State Senate maps.) Only a third of Republican voters themselves indicated that they thought the new maps were fair. Across all groups, but especially Republicans and Independents, large numbers of voters said they were unsure about the maps’ fairness.

Independent expert observers of the new maps drawn by Republican politicians came to a near-unanimous conclusion: they represent an obvious and egregious partisan gerrymander. The Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave each of the Congressional, State Senate and State House maps an “F,” representing clear a partisan power-grab. As opaque and difficult to follow as the redistricting process can often be, voters clearly understood this message anyway.

“Transplants” Make Up Almost Half of State Voters

Residents who aren’t originally from North Carolina now make up 48% of voters in the state, while “natives” made up 52%.

This represents a part of a slow, steady decline in the proportion of “native” voters to non-native ones. Estimates from the 2014 American Community Survey showed that 54% of the state’s voting-eligible population was native to the state. Newcomers to the state have tended to be younger and more diverse, propelling the slow and steady Democratic-leaning drift in North Carolina’s electorate.


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