Unaffiliated voters overtake Democrats, now largest voting bloc in North Carolina

Democrats have seen their share of the electorate decline in the past two decades, while the Republican electorate has remained relatively flat

Posted Updated
Vote; election
Bryan Anderson
, WRAL state government reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina State Board of Elections on Saturday said unaffiliated voters now represent the largest share of the state’s electorate.

The latest weekly update reflects a sizable increase in voters choosing to either switch out of their partisan label or not register with any political party in the first place.

Of the more than 7.2 million registered voters today, nearly 2.5 million are unaffiliated. That’s 34.5% of all voters. There are almost 2.5 million Democrats and 2.2 million Republicans, according to state elections data.

The state elections board released a report early Saturday showing 99 fewer registered unaffiliated voters than Democrats. In the afternoon, Pat Gannon, a spokesman for the board, said unaffiliated voters overtook Democratic voters when including those who are considered "temporary," which the state's weekly voter registration report doesn't cover.

"If an unregistered person submits a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) or Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB), that person is registered with a voter status of 'Temporary,'" Gannon said. "This applies to military and overseas who submit a FPCA or FWAB."

Over the past two decades, the proportion of Democratic voters has steadily declined, while GOP affiliations have remained largely flat.

Data from the state elections board shows nearly 900,000 of the state’s more than 5 million voters in January 2004 were unaffiliated, or 17.7% of registered voters. Nearly 47.6% of voters were Democrats and 34.5% were Republicans.


Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.