By Jesse Wood
Nov. 1, 2012. With such a high number of unaffiliated voters registered in Watauga County, it’s obvious that the unaffiliated voters will swing the election.
But how will they vote? That’s the question pundits wish they could answer and one that we won’t find the exact answer to until the votes are tallied next week.
But what if – and this isn’t an exact science – you used the May 8 primary voter history to glean information into how an unaffiliated voter might sway – assuming that Republicans and Democrats chose their parties respective ballot.
During the primary, unaffiliated voters chose either a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or nonpartisan ballot to vote for Amendment One/Marriage Protection Amendment and other candidates.
By subtracting the number of registered Republicans who voted from the number of Republican ballots requested, one can figure the number of unaffiliated voters that requested a Republican ballot. And this can be done with the Democrats and Libertarians, too.
The High Country Press did this using data from the N.C. State Board of Elections. On Thursday, we reviewed the unaffiliated voter history in Watauga County from the May 8 primary to figure out if unaffiliated voters lean conservative or liberal.
Here’s what we found out about the 4,326 unaffiliated voters in Watauga County that voted in the May 8 primary.
- 31.3 percent requested a Republican ballot
- 30.2 percent requested a Democrat ballot
- 37.6 percent requested a nonpartisan ballot
- .9 percent requested a Libertarian ballot
- 30.5 percent requested a Democrat ballot
- 44 percent requested a Republican ballot
- 24 percent requested a nonpartisan ballot
- .1 percent requested a Libertarian ballot
- Unaffiliated: 37 percent
- Republicans: 33 percent
- Democrats: 29 percent
Here’s how the 6,621,631 registered voters in North Carolina stack up**
- Democrats: 43 percent
- Republicans: 31 percent
- Unaffiliated: 26 percent
*As of Oct. 30
**As of Nov. 1
Source: N.C. State Board of Elections