Last week, the 2017-18 General Assembly opened this year’s session, and in a few weeks they will dig in on their new legislative agenda. As you probably know, Republicans hold a 74-46 majority in the NC House and a 35-15 majority in the NC Senate. In the NC House, there are 19 new members, seven Democrats and 12 Republicans; in the NC Senate, there are five new members, all of whom are Republicans.Demographic information is important to understanding the composition of the legislature. Instead of looking at the usual race or gender breakdown, we decided to take a look at another bit of demographic information: occupation. Based on NC House and NC Senate Clerk Reports, the leading occupations are attorney, business owner, real estate broker, business executive, and consultant.
As we speed toward Election Day and put behind us what will likely be known as the longest and most rancorous presidential race in recent memory, we must all remember that the importance of November 8th goes well beyond 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And yes, we completely understand that looking beyond this presidential election—an election that has been the focus of the world and dominated the news for the past year—is not an easy task, especially given that we are a swing state AND a battleground state.
But, the truth is North Carolina voters have much more to consider. We have the opportunity to shape our future right here at home, and every single vote matters. In fact, we are voting in two very important races that are still considered toss-ups (you have seen the mass amounts of TV ads that prove it) with than a less than a week to go – U.S. Senate and Gubernatorial. Just look at what is at stake with these races – a potential change in the balance of power in D.C. and the leader of North Carolina for the next four years. These two races could come down to the wire with a candidate squeezing in by a couple hundred votes. It could even be a couple hundred votes from a rural county that makes the difference.
Beyond those two races, there are many important races and issues to be decided, and you should want to have a say. Here’s what most of our ballots will include: US House of Representatives, US Senate, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Commissioner of Labor, Commissioner of Insurance, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Commissioner of Agriculture, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Treasurer, Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, NC House and NC Senate. Not to mention local races like County Commissioners and Register of Deeds. That is a lot of voting but it’s a great way to make your voice heard.
The point is that while our next POTUS is extremely important for the future of our nation, so are the elected officials that represent us right here at home. The elected officials that determine the future of our education system, public safety, healthcare, social security, our roads, bridges and highways, agriculture, sewer and water systems, and much more. We urge you to exercise your right to vote and to be a part of the future of this great state and nation!
This year’s election is about a month away, and with candidates finalizing their messages and making one last push towards election day, we thought it would be a good time to remind everyone just how important agriculture is to our state.
Over the past two weeks we’ve shared a couple of posts from Dr. Rebecca Tippett of Carolina Demography at UNC’s Carolina Population Center. If you haven’t read them, we encourage you to go back and read those two posts in their entirety – it’s really good stuff. But as great as Rebecca’s work is, we can’t post ALL of it, so we’ve decided to break down what we believe to be some of the more important bits of information. Of course, you can read all of her posts at demography.cpc.unc.edu/blog and follow her on Twitter @ncdemography.
Written by Dr. Rebecca Tippett and originally published at Carolina Demography. Over the next few weeks the First Furrow will be highlighting some of Rebecca’s excellent insights into rural North Carolina.
Prior to coming to Carolina Demography, I worked in a similar role producing and interpreting demographic data in Virginia. Since returning to North Carolina, I have mentioned to a number of people that North Carolina is more “demographically interesting” in certain respects than Virginia. This isn’t to say that Virginia isn’t interesting –it is!—but the fundamental patterns of demographics are markedly different in Virginia compared to North Carolina. And some of this difference is rooted in the higher proportion of individuals living in high density, urbanized areas in Virginia.
June 7th. That’s next Tuesday. Mark it on your calendar. Circle it. Put it in your phone and set a reminder. That’s because next Tuesday, June 7th is the date of North Carolina’s Congressional primary election. (The ballot will also include a North Carolina Supreme Court Associate Justice race and possibly local races too.) You might be thinking, ‘but I already voted in a primary back in March’ and you’d be right. But without getting into the weeds too much, your vote in any Congressional race during the March primary hasn’t been counted and probably won’t ever be counted. The primary election on Tuesday, June 7th includes Congressional races again and this time your vote will be counted*, so it’s important that you go vote.
Unlike the NCAA basketball tournament, the first round of North Carolina elections—last week’s primary—didn’t result in big upsets or surprises. The council of state races held as projected and, for the most part, incumbents in the state house and senate will be moving on to their general elections or returning to Raleigh for the 2017 long session.
Today, instead of analyzing individual races across the state, we will focus on the Farm Bureau-supported Connect NC Bond results and discuss a few voting trends that continue to emerge in urban and rural areas. (If you’re interested in learning about those other races, we highly recommended you read the NC Free Enterprise Foundation’s post-primary briefing.)