As Trump prepares to visit, North Carolina voter registration trends away from Democrats

Unaffiliated registrations increased by 182,114 while registered Republicans swelled by 40,593
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Donald Trump, CPAC, Dallas, Aug. 6, 2022
Donald Trump, CPAC, Dallas, Aug. 6, 2022
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

North Carolina voter registrations have continued a trend toward unaffiliated, Republican and smaller parties over the last year, as Democrats have slowly bled members.

The trend comes as former President Donald Trump plans to stump in North Carolina on Friday night, boosting Republican candidates like Rep. Ted Budd, the party's U.S. Senate nominee.

Data from the North Carolina State Board of Elections through last week shows total Democrat registrations in North Carolina at 2,492,221, or 1,024 fewer registrations than on Sept. 18, 2021. Over the same time frame, unaffiliated registrations increased by 182,114 to 2,611,675, and registered Republicans swelled by 40,593 to total 2,214,816.

Green Party registrations, which numbered 4,034 last May, are now at 60 after regaining recognition by the state as an official party in August. Libertarian voter registrations, meanwhile, increased by 2,793 since last September to a total of 49,785 now.

The totals equate to more than 35% of North Carolina voters registering unaffiliated, nearly 34% as Democrats, and 30% as Republicans. The state’s nearly 3.7 million registered female voters outnumber registered male voters by 569,639.

Voter registrations between Sept. 10 and Sept. 17, however, stood in contrast to the shift away from the Democratic Party in recent years.

Democrats gained 2,427 registrations last week, compared to 7,351 unaffiliated registrations, 1,973 who registered as Republicans, 163 Libertarian registrations, and 10 Green Party registrations.

The biggest changes came from Cumberland County, home to the U.S. Army’s Fort Bragg, which added 6,682 registrations after recently removing a large number of registrations through list maintenance.

Cumberland County added a total of 2,427 Democrat voter registrations last week, as well as 2,878 unaffiliated registrations, 1,281 Republican registrations, and 96 Libertarian registrations.

Watauga County added the second most registrations with 718, including 439 unaffiliated, 208 for Democrats, 62 for Republicans, six Libertarian registrations, and three Green Party registrations.

The registrations come as absentee votes begin to trickle in for the November elections.

Through Sept. 19, state officials have accepted a total of 4,599 votes, including 2,506 from Democrats, 1,412 from unaffiliated voters, 665 from Republicans, 13 Libertarian voters, and three Green Party voters, according to a Vote Tracker website maintained by the Civitas Institute.

The totals give Democrats 54.49% of the votes cast so far in 2022, compared to 53.59% at this point in 2020, and 58.51% in 2018.