Charlotte Mayoral Primary – Can we tell who voted for whom?

The runoff election in the Democratic primary for Mayor of Charlotte is on Tuesday, October 6th, as Jennifer Roberts, who finished first in the September primary with 35.8%, squares off against incumbent Dan Clodfelter, who finished second with 25.7%.  While Mr. Clodfelter is the incumbent, he was appointed as Mayor by Charlotte’s City Council in April 2014 following Mayor Patrick Cannon’s resignation after being arrested on corruption charges.  Prior to that appointment, Mr. Clodfelter had served in the North Carolina State Senate and as a City Council member in Charlotte.

After analyzing the composition of the overall Democratic electorate in the September 15th primary here, I dug deeper into the Mecklenburg County Voter Data file, as well as precinct-level voting returns:

In the Sept. 15 Democratic primary for Charlotte Mayor, Ms. Roberts had more votes than Mr. Clodfelter in 139 of 166 precincts (84%), while Mr. Clodfelter defeated Ms. Roberts in just 23 of 166 precincts (14%).  The two candidates were tied in 4 precincts.

I analyzed voter data from the eleven precincts which provided Ms. Roberts with her largest margins as compared with Mr. Clodfelter, to see if there were any demographic differences between those precincts and the Democratic primary electorate in total.

The Democratic primary voters in these precincts were 87% registered Democrats, 62% women, 70% black (although in 4 of the 11 precincts, the those who voted were more than 70% white), with a median age of 60.  This compares to 80% registered Democrats, 61% women, 55% black, with a median age of 59 of the total population of Democratic primary voters.

To complete the analysis, I studied voter data from the eight precincts which provided Mr. Clodfelter with his largest margins as compared with Ms. Roberts, for similar characteristics.

The Democratic primary voters in these precincts were only 68% registered Democrats (32% were unaffiliated), 58% women, just 23% black (over 74% white!), with a median age of 60.

Although we obviously don’t know exactly which voters cast their ballot for which candidate, it is evident that Ms. Roberts enjoyed greater support in precincts which had a higher percentage of black voters, and those who are registered Democrats.  Mr. Clodfelter saw his largest margins in precincts which had a high percentage of white voters, and those who were not registered Democrats.





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