This is part of our series looking at NC’s registered voters. Other stories include an in-depth look at NC’s Democrat voters and an in-depth look at NC’s unaffiliated voters. This is an update of our story from October 2022.
As of September 23rd, 2023, North Carolina had 7.3 million registered voters. Of these, 2.2 million or 30.09% were registered as a Republican.
Younger voters are the least likely to register as Republican, reflecting their higher affinity for registering unaffiliated. Just 23% of voters ages 18-34 are registered Republican compared to 29% of 35-54 year-olds, 36% of 55-74 year-olds, and 37% of voters ages 75 and older. As a result, older adults, especially those ages 55-74, comprise a larger share of Republican voters than the overall electorate: 31% of all voters are ages 55+ compared to 38% of registered Republican voters. Additionally, Republican voters ages 18-34 and 35-54 comprise less of the Republican party than the general electorate.
Reflecting this age structure, over 25% of North Carolina Republican voters first registered to vote before 2000 while only 21% of the general electorate registered before the year 2000. An additional 18% of Republican voters registered in the 2000s, 31% in the 2010s, and 26% in the 2020s.
North Carolina’s registered Republicans are overwhelmingly white. Eighty-eight percent of Republican voters are white compared to 64% of the electorate overall.
White voters are significantly more likely to register as Republican (41%) compared to other groups. Twenty-two percent of American Indian voters, 17% of Asian voters, 15% of Hispanic voters, and 3% of Black voters are registered Republican in North Carolina.
North Carolina voters born in a Southern or Midwestern state are generally the most likely to be registered as Republican. Forty-two percent of West Virginia-born individuals are registered Republican, followed by South Dakota (39%), Kentucky (38%), Oklahoma (36%), Indiana (36%), and Tennessee (35%).
Just over 920,000 Republican voters—42% of the state’s Republican voter population—were born in North Carolina. New York (102K), Virginia (70K), Pennsylvania (60K), and Florida (52K) were the next most common birthplaces outside of North Carolina. Eighteen percent of Republican voters (407K) provided no information on place of birth. Fourteen percent of all registered Republican Voters in North Carolina hail from a southern state outside of North Carolina (310K), twelve percent hail from the Northeast (270k), seven percent from the Midwest (160k), and four percent from the West (78k).
Across North Carolina’s 100 counties, the county share of Republican voters varies widely, reflecting county differences in composition by age, race/ethnicity, and place of birth.
Fifty-eight percent of active voters in Mitchell County were registered Republican, the highest rate statewide. Mitchell county also had the lowest rate of registered Democratic voters (9%). Over half of registered voters were registered Republican in seven other counties: Avery, Yadkin, Wilkes, Stokes, Randolph, Davie, and Cherokee.
In contrast, less than fifteen percent of voters are registered Republican in Halifax, Bertie, Northampton, Orange, Hertford, and Durham counties.
Note: Analysis presented is of the 9/23/2023 voter registration file from NC’s State Board of Elections. Analysis is limited to individuals who are active, inactive, or temporary registered voters. Voters with a reported birth age of 116 years or older were excluded from the age analysis. Thus, those born before 1909 were excluded. Likewise, voters with registration dates prior to 1930 were excluded from the registration date analysis.
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Categories: Elections & Voting
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