GOP early voters are outpacing their registration numbers by nearly eight percent
Unaffiliated voters and Democrats accounting for less than half of ballots cast
LENOIR, N.C. – Republican Party voters in Caldwell County are starting off the 2018 election cycle as they ended it in 2016 – energized and voting.
Indeed, after only three days, of the 3,609 votes cast so far, 52 percent – 1,894 – have been by Republicans, a number that exceeds the number of GOP registered voters by about eight percent. It represents a burst of energy that began on the first day of voting this past Wednesday and has not subsided.
Democrats account for 909 votes, or 25 percent; and, unaffiliated voters have cast 798 votes, equaling 22 percent of the total, according to data provided by the Caldwell County Board of Elections.
Vote totals through Friday represent nearly seven percent of the 54,515 registered voters in the county. Republicans make up the vast plurality, accounting for 24,747 of the total voters, or 44 percent. Unaffiliated voters now outnumber Democrats. There are 15,867 unaffiliated voters, accounting for 30 percent of total voters, and 13,901 Democrats in the county, representing 25 percent of the voters. Less than one percent of voters are registered with one of the other political parties.
Voters have been turning out consistently since the first day, averaging about 1,200 early voters per day at the county’s two One-Stop Voting locations. In Granite Falls, 1,420 voters – 39 percent of the county’s total – have voted; in Lenoir, 2,188 have cast ballots, accounting for 61 percent of vote totals.
Caldwell County Republicans are voting at a pace that could be record-setting, especially for a mid-term election. Unaffiliated voters, which Democrats are undeniably counting on this cycle, are not turning out, as their voting numbers are eight percent below their percentage of registered voters in the county. Democrats are holding steady with their registration numbers.
In a perfect year for Democrats, overcoming such registration numbers would be virtually insurmountable; ticket-splitting is virtually nonexistent today. So, while unaffiliated voters can be a wild card, those registered by party are counted upon by party officials to vote their ticket. There is no evidence to suggest this year will be any different.
Republicans are enthused; Democrats are not; unaffiliated voters are yawning. Since 2016, pundits and politicians on both sides have said that 2018 is, “The Most Important Election of our Lifetimes.” It’s rather obvious the Republicans believe so, but they would appear to be alone in that thinking, at least in Caldwell County.
© Michael M. Barrick, 2018
How and Where to Vote
According to the Caldwell County Board of Elections, here is what you need to know about voting this year:
If you have not yet registered to vote, you can register when coming to One Stop/Early Voting.
There are 2 One Stop/Early Voting Locations:
- Caldwell County Alden E. Starnes County Office Plaza
905 West Avenue NW, Lenoir
- Shuford Recreation Center
56 Pinewood Road, Granite Falls
The One Stop/Early Voting Dates and Time:
Monday, October 22 through Friday, October 26: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Monday, October 29 through Friday, November 2: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 3 – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (the only Saturday)
The Last Day to Apply for Absentee Ballot – October 30, 2018