RALEIGH – Today, the Civitas Institute 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 2020 utilizes the voter data from the 2016 election results for governor and the nine other Council of State offices, as well as the four 2018 statewide judicial races. 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.
“Court-ordered redistricting changed the composition of many General Assembly districts, creating uncertainty going into the 2020 elections,” said Civitas Elections Policy Analyst, Andy Jackson, Ph.D. “We crunched the numbers for all of North Carolina’s 2,000 plus precincts to make sure we had an accurate account of the partisan leanings of all 170 North Carolina House and Senate districts.”
Although the CPI does not predict elections, someone using the CPI without any other data would have successfully predicted 90 percent of state legislative races in 2018. CPI serves as a unique tool that reveals which direction districts lean, which can illuminate significant trends.
The 2020 CPI differs from the 2018 version in two ways: the first is that we have included data from four 2018 statewide judicial races; one for NC Supreme Court and three for NC Court of Appeals. The second is how we designate districts that have close CPI ratings. We previously labeled races with a CPI rating between zero and two as “Swing Democrat” or “Swing Republican.” For the 2020 CPI, we designate races with a CPI rating of zero or one as a “toss-up.”
The updated CPI finds twelve (12) state House districts and three (3) state Senate districts to be very competitive with ratings between D+1 to R+1.
The CPI reflects the most up-to-date district boundaries, which were impacted by court-ordered redistricting in 2019.
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.
Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization that fights to remove barriers to freedom so that all North Carolinians can enjoy a better life.