After the Charlotte mayor and council election frenzy has died down, here's a deeper look at the mayoral election results for a few precincts in the Merry Oaks area, including central and East Charlotte. Democratic candidate Anthony Foxx defeated Republican John Lassiter.
The precincts included here cover Merry Oaks, Commonwealth Park, most of Plaza Midwood and Country Club Heights, including areas around Shamrock Gardens Elementary School.
In two of the precincts, turnout was below the citywide turnout of 21.14%. In all four precincts examined here, those voters choosing a straight Republican ticket never reached 14%. And in all four precincts, the percentage of unaffiliated registered voters is higher than the percentage of Republican voters.
And in three of these four precincts, even if Republicans and unaffiliated voters all voted together and the same, they couldn't overcome the Democratic numbers.
So if these precincts are representative of most precincts outside of the historically Republican pie slice in south Charlotte, the numbers support an analysis by Glenn Burkins of QcityMetro, pointing out the changing demographics and surging Democratic Party in much of Charlotte.
Mary Newsom also lends perspective on the mayor election in her column in Saturday's Charlotte Observer, noting that Charlotte is still a majority-white Southern city and Foxx's win was the first for a Democratic candidate in 22 years. The last Democratic mayor was also African American.
"Yes, Charlotte is trending Democratic, as its African-American population has inched up to 35 percent. But the City Council's new 8-3 Democratic majority exists because council districts were carefully devised (by Democratic councils) to overstate the party's power. Democrats are helped, too, by the local Republican Party's ethnic-cleansing-like campaign to purge all who aren't anti-immigrant, anti-gay/lesbian and anti-legal abortion. Moderate Republicans these days have nowhere to turn."
Perhaps that point explains the high percentages of unaffiliated voters, an emerging trend that could play out in future elections. Or perhaps it reflects an increasing tendency for voters to choose straight-party tickets, a trend analyzed by Brian D. Francis.
Or perhaps it signals a generational shift toward colorblind politics, something that pundits have been watching for in the mayoral race in Atlanta. You can read more about that race in The Christian Science Monitor.
Now for those of you still reading, it's obvious you just can't get enough Charlotte politics. So here's a visual taste of Election Night from photographer James Willamor, with more to come next week likely at CLTBlog.com.
Herewith, a tale of four precincts:
Merry Oaks Elementary School
3508 Draper Ave.
40% of those who voted used straight party voting.
26.5% of those who voted chose a straight Democratic ticket.
13.5% of those who voted chose a straight Republican ticket.
.25% of those who voted chose a straight Libertarian ticket (one person).
Midwood Baptist Church,
2029 Mecklenburg Ave Charlotte, NC 28205
26% of those who voted for mayor used straight party voting.
17.5% of those who voted for mayor chose a straight Democratic ticket.
8.5% of those who voted for mayor chose a straight Republican ticket.
Shamrock Gardens Elementary School
3301 Country Club Dr. Charlotte, NC 28205
36% of those who voted for mayor used straight party voting.
22.8% of those who voted for mayor chose a straight Democratic ticket.
13.2% of those who voted for mayor chose a straight Republican ticket.
WTVI Television Station
3242 Commonwealth Ave Charlotte, NC 28205
41% of those who voted for mayor used straight party voting.
28% of those who voted for mayor chose a straight Democratic ticket.
13% of those who voted for mayor chose a straight Republican ticket.
Mecklenburg Board of Elections sites here and here.
The Charlotte Observer.