This week, the focus of U.S. politics shifts to North Carolina, as President Barack Obama leads the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. The Democratic National Committee chose Charlotte as its location because North Carolina is a battleground state for the election. It is a key state that both parties think they need to win to gain the presidency. Will this decision pay off at election time?

The map and data below tell the story of the demographic and political makeup of the Charlotte area before the convention. Will an up-close view of the DNC, along with other factors that undoubtedly will surface throughout the remainder of the campaign, sway residents of the Charlotte area to vote for more liberal or more conservative candidates? We’ll be sure to check back after Nov. 6 to see what the election results reveal.

Charlotte is in the southern part of North Carolina, near the border with South Carolina. The Charlotte Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 1.8 million people. Here are some key statistics about Charlotte.

 

Charlotte

US

Median Age

35.5

37.2

% Male / % Female

49.2%/50.8%

49.2%/50.8%

Median Income

$53,790

$50,227

% Hispanic Population

10.2%

16.6%

Median Home Value

$152,093

$157,913

The residents of Charlotte are overall considered slightly more conservative than the average American. Using a market-potential index by Esri, a company for geographic-information systems that also does data analysis, demonstrates:

Market Potential Variable

Index

Consider self very conservative

102

Consider self somewhat conservative

106

Consider self middle of the road

101

Consider self somewhat liberal

101

Consider self very liberal

90

Charlotte Politics Market Potential Index

Click on image to view Charlotte political views by ZIP code. Courtesy: ESRI

A resident of Charlotte is 2% more likely than the average American to consider himself very conservative and 6% more likely to consider himself somewhat conservative. A resident of Charlotte is 1% more likely than the average American to consider himself somewhat liberal but 10% less likely than the average American to consider himself very liberal. Residents do not have die-hard political leanings in either direction, demonstrating the location as a potential battleground in the election.

Esri also developed the Tapestry Segmentation system that classifies U.S. residential neighborhoods into 65 unique market segments based on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. The top tapestry segments for the Charlotte metropolitan statistical area:

Tapestry Segment

% Adults

Up and Coming Families

15.4%

Midland Crowd

5.9%

Enterprising Professionals

5.6%

Boomburbs

5.4%

Aspiring Young Families

5.2%

Milk and Cookies

4.7%

Green Acres

4.3%

Young and Restless

4.1%

In Style

3.6%

Inner City Tenants

3.5%

Residents of the Up and Coming Families tapestry segment, for example, are young, affluent families with younger children. Eighty percent of the households are families. Most of the residents are white; however, diversity is increasing as the segment grows. The median household income is $69,522, and nearly two-thirds of residents age 25 years and older have attended college; more than 1 in 5 holds a bachelor’s degree.

Click on image to view Charlotte Tapestry by ZIP code. Courtesy: ESRI

Tapestry segments are formed out of two other segments: LifeMode and Urbanization. LifeMode summery groups are characterized by lifestyle and life stage and share an experience such as being born in the same time period or a trait such as affluence. Urbanization summary groups in Tapestry Segmentation provide a broader view of U.S. markets based on geographic and physical features and income. No single LifeMode or Urbanization summary group dominates the Charlotte market. Approximately 22% of adults in Charlotte are part of the Family Portrait LifeMode group. Youth, family life and the presence of children are common characteristics in this group. Twenty-seven percent of adults in Charlotte are part of the Suburban Periphery I Urbanization group.

Why does this matter?

Understanding the types of Americans who live in an area can help candidates target their campaigns and even messaging. Knowing local issues, the demographic makeup of an area, political leanings or what types of activities interest residents can help candidates find supporters — and help them be in a better position win an election.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at Esri.com/data. To learn more about Esri in general, go to Esri.com.

Pam Allison is a consultant in digital media, marketing strategy and location intelligence. You can visit her blog at PamAllison.com.

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2 Responses to “Will Democrats’ big party in Charlotte, N.C., pay dividends?”

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