Friday, February 13, 2009

Inside the Numbers: Governor's Race

In 2004 Mike Easley beat Patrick Ballantine by about 444,000 votes. In 2008 Bev Perdue beat Pat McCrory by about 145,000 voters.

That means McCrory cut the Democratic margin of victory by 299,000 votes...but where did they come from?

A new PPP analysis finds that 226,000 of the 299,000 vote shift from the previous election came exclusively within the counties of the Charlotte tv market.

There were 13 counties where Perdue ran ten points or more behind Easley's 2004 performance and 12 of them were in metro Charlotte. The exception was Brunswick County, where Easley lives:

County

Perdue 2008%

Easley 2004%

Difference

Lincoln

30

46

16

Iredell

33

47

14

Stanly

32

46

14

Cabarrus

35

48

13

Union

29

41

12

Catawba

33

45

12

Cleveland

42

54

12

Alexander

33

45

12

Brunswick

45

56

11

Caldwell

35

45

10

Gaston

35

45

10

Mecklenburg

49

59

10

Rowan

37

47

10


Overall Perdue won in every media market in the state except for Charlotte:

TV Market

Perdue

McCrory

Margin

Wilmington

51

45

+6

Greenville

58

40

+18

Triangle

56

41

+15

Triad

49

47

+2

Charlotte

41

57

-16

Asheville

51

46

+5


There were 22 counties where Perdue exceeded Easley's performance from 2004. All of them were in eastern North Carolina except Swain County in the west.

The bottom line? While Pat McCrory did surprisingly well last fall, he was too much of a regional candidate to get across the finish line. If he's going to run statewide again in the future he's going to need to do a much better job of appealing to voters outside his home base in metro Charlotte, particularly rural voters east of I-95.

One other interesting finding from our analysis. We pointed out several times last fall that our data showed Michael Munger was pulling more votes from Perdue than McCrory, contrary to the conventional wisdom that Libertarians take from Republican candidates. The county where he ended up doing best? Deep blue Orange, where he pulled 5% of the vote.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you have the headings of the first table reversed.

. said...

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