The Changing Face of Southern Voters

December 04, 2012 By: seeta Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, Poverty

From Southern Studies:

Focusing on the big three Southern battlegrounds — Florida, North Carolina and Virginia — we have two sources for looking at the electoral clout of the emerging Southern majority. One is the exit polls collected by Edison Research for national media outlets; the other is state voter registration statistics.*

Neither is perfect. The exit polls, which in 2012 included random surveys of voters at the polls as well as phone surveys to account for early voters, are only a rough snapshot of the electorate. The further you drill into the data, the smaller the sample size and the greater the margin of error (already 4 percent for the national figures). Voter registration statistics only tell you who is on the voter rolls, but not if and how they voted.

But together, they offer a glimpse at how demographic changes — which are happening more quickly in many Southern states than in the rest of the country — are affecting the Southern political landscape.

The following chart shows how the electorate is changing in the three states: