Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Black Turnout in NC: Impacts it had and Impacts it didn't: Looking at 2010: State House

This is a section of PPP's report about the impacts that high black turnout had on the outcomes of key political races in North Carolina last year- and the impacts it didn't. You can read the full thing here.
The State House presents a rosier picture for Democratic prospects moving forward. There were eight seats that the party’s nominee won by ten points or less, but considerably fewer of them would be made highly vulnerable by a reversion to more standard black turnout in 2010:


Actual Result

Estimated Result

HD 3

Underhill +2

Too Close to Call

HD 10

Braxton +3

LaRoque +2

HD 25

Stewart +10

Stewart +4

HD 41

Harrell +8

Harrell +6

HD 81

Holliman +5

Holliman +2

HD 88

Warren +1

Too Close to Call

HD 93

Tarleton +7

Tarleton +7

HD 116

Whilden +3

Whilden +2

Out of the eight closest Democratic won districts, just three of them look like they could really have gone the other way if not for high African American turnout this year. Van Braxton, who represents a conservative eastern North Carolina district, is the only legislator who we would classify as a probable loser if not for the Obama factor. Ray Warren’s race went to a recount anyway so a small change in the composition of the electorate certainly could have sent the race the other way, as any small factor more than likely could have. Alice Underhill’s district would have been in too close to call status.

The districts of Jane Whilden, Cullie Tarleton, and Ty Harrell don’t have particularly significant African American populations so that was not an important factor in their victories. Randy Stewart, who replaces Bill Daughtridge, does have a heavily black district but his margin was large enough that it didn’t tip the scales by any means and there is some chance he’ll have an easier path in 2010 when he can run as an incumbent. Hugh Holliman’s contest would have been even closer but there’s little doubt he would have ended up on top.

While the Obama factor may have helped to ensure continued Democratic control of the North Carolina Senate it had very little to do with the party’s continued majority in the House.

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