November 8, 2021
RALEIGH — Today, the John Locke Foundation released the updated Civitas Partisan Index. This tool reflects the political balance of power in North Carolina. Modeled after the Cook Partisan Voting Index, the Civitas Partisan Index (CPI) compares the political leanings of voters in each state House and Senate district with the partisan voting tendencies of the state as a whole. The result is a letter (D or R) followed by a number, indicating the extent to which each district leans one way or the other.
CPI 2022 utilizes voter data from the 2020 election results for governor and the nine other Council of State offices. Although presidential and U.S. Senate election results are also available, state-level races give a more accurate picture of how citizens will vote in a state legislative race than do national races.
“Republicans have a structural advantage with these seats,” said Andy Jackson, Director of the Civitas Center for Public Integrity at the John Locke Foundation. “In both chambers of the General Assembly, Democrats need to have a good year to win a majority, while a good year for Republicans would give them a supermajority.”
A supermajority is comprised of 30 seats in the Senate and 72 in the House. A party that reaches this threshold can override a gubernatorial veto.
Although the CPI is not a predictive model, someone using the CPI without any other data would have successfully predicted 94% of state legislative races in 2020. CPI serves as a unique tool that reveals which direction districts lean, which can illuminate significant trends.
The updated CPI finds 26 state House districts and 10 state Senate districts to be very competitive, with ratings between +5 Democratic and +5 Republican.
The CPI reflects the most up-to-date district boundaries, which were passed into law by the General Assembly on Thursday, November 4, 2021.
Jackson expects the partisan lean of many seats to shift over the coming decade. “If recent trends hold, we can expect some of the competitive seats in the inner suburbs to shift toward Democrats over the next few elections. There are also still a few rural and outer suburban areas that Republicans can flip in the future. The ratings for districts drawn in the latest round of redistricting are certainly not set in stone and will change as the electorate changes.”
This glimpse into voter tendency, broken down into state House and Senate districts, provides analysts, journalists, candidates, and other interested parties with a more full-bodied context of each district’s leanings.
We invite you to check out your legislative districts on the Civitas Partisan Index.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Andy Jackson
Director, Civitas Center for Public Integrity
John Locke Foundation