Monday, November 07, 2016

Watauga County at the Epicenter

National and even international media have been making a bee-line for Watauga County. We'll have potential gridlock among out of town media come E-Day tomorrow. McClatchy Newspaper Group, owners of the Charlotte Observer and the News & Observer of Raleigh -- and a bunch of other papers across the nation -- will be filming all day here, and a team from the BBC will also be in town. They come on the heels of MSNBC, PBS, and NPR who've already been here filming, recording, and interviewing.

Why all this attention? Because Watauga has been designated one of 50 bellwether counties in the whole nation. One reason for that: We're one of only four counties in the state with more unaffiliated voters than both Republicans and Democrats.

The unaffiliated vote is way up in early voting in North Carolina, and on that -- and perhaps that alone -- hinges the outcome. In Watauga alone, the unaffiliated vote outpaced both Republicans and Democrats:
Watauga Unaffiliated voters who voted early 7,683
Watauga Democratic voters who voted early 6,603
Watauga Republican voters who voted early 6,215
Those astounding numbers make Watauga almost completely unique in North Carolina. In only one other county -- Transylvania -- have the unaffiliated outvoted both national parties in early voting. (Sorry, Transylvania, but despite that you're not considered a bellwether.)

What does it all mean? We'll find out tomorrow night, but in the meantime we have our strong suspicions.


Anonymous said...

Jerry, what part of the population does the "Unaffiliated" designation primarily consist of ? Do you have any idea ?

Pam Williamson said...

63% are 35 years old or younger.