Here are the numbers that should scare North Carolina Democrats: 1.4 million and 47-18.
The 1.4 million is the number of voters registered unaffiliated. That’s nearly a fourth of the state’s 6.1 million registered votes.
And 47-18 is how much those independent voters favor Republicans over Democrats in legislative races this year, according to Public Policy Polling. The party preference for Congress is virtually the same: 46-19.
These independent voters decide elections in North Carolina. And their ranks are growing. In fact, unaffiliated is the only part of the electorate that’s growing.
The number of unaffiliated voters has grown by about 20,000 since November 2008. At the same time, the number of registered Democrats has dropped about 110,000 (to 2.75 million) and the number of Republicans has dropped about 70,000 (to 1.93 million). The total number of registered voters has dropped by about 150,000, to 6.1 million.
A loyal Democrat might argue that Republicans aren’t looking so good either. But unlike 2008 – when independents voted for Obama, Hagan and Perdue – they are mad at Democrats this time.
PPP found Obama’s ratings among them at 63-33 negative and Perdue’s, 56-23 negative.
This is a recipe for disaster.