Civitas Releases its 2024 Partisan Index

    by Dr. Andy Jackson, Director of the Civitas Center for Public Integrity at the John Locke Foundation and Jim Stirling, Research Fellow at the John Locke Foundation

    (Editor’s note: what follows includes only the partisan indices for state House elections. For JLF’s state Senate rankings, please click here.)

    The CPI measures the partisan tendencies of North Carolina legislative districts

    With the ballot for the North Carolina General Assembly set, this is a good time to get a lay of the electoral landscape ahead of the general elections. With that in mind, here is the 2024 Civitas Partisan Index (CPI). 

    We assigned a rating to each district based on its CPI score. We rate districts with a CPI of 0–1 in either direction as a toss-up, 2–5 as lean, 6–9 as likely, and ten or more as safe seats for the respective parties. Districts with a 0 rating have a partisan lean of less than half a percentage point.

    The Partisan Leanings of North Carolina House Districts

    There are 120 in the North Carolina House. The CPI indicates that there are 37 safe Democratic seats, 5 likely Democratic seats, 6 lean Democratic seats, 3 toss-up seats, 17 lean Republican seats, 13 likely Republican seats, and 39 safe Republican seats in the state House.

    In a typical election year, Republicans would start with 52 likely or safe seats in the House. Republicans would only have to pick up eight of the lean Republican or toss-up seats to gain a majority in the chamber. To get to the 72-seat super majority, Republicans would need to pick up all the lean Republican and toss-up seats.

    Democrats would need to sweep all three toss-up seats and win in ten of 17 lean Republican districts to gain a majority.

    2024 Civitas Partisan Index for the NC House

    District CPI Rating Democrat Republican
    1 R+12 Safe Republican Susan A. Sawin Edward C. Goodwin
    2 D+7 Likely Democratic Ray Jeffers Jason Chambers
    3 R+9 Likely Republican Linda G. Moore Steve Tyson
    4 R+8 Likely Republican Vernon Moore Jimmy Dixon
    5 D+1 Toss up Howard Hunter III Bill Ward
    6 R+8 Likely Republican Kiara Johnson Joe Pike
    7 R+4 Lean Republican James Gathers, Jr. Matthew Winslow
    8 D+16 Safe Democratic Gloristine Brown Angelene Mitchell
    9 R+3 Lean Republican Claire Kempner Timothy Reeder
    10 R+6 Likely Republican Beatrice Jones John Bell
    11 D+16 Safe Democratic Allison A. Dahle Philip Hensley
    12 R+3 Lean Republican Lillie Williams Chris Humphrey
    13 R+18 Safe Republican Katie Tomberlin Celeste Cairns
    14 R+12 Safe Republican Carmen Spicer Wyatt Gable
    15 R+13 Safe Republican Christopher Schulte Phillip Shepard
    16 R+16 Safe Republican Frances Lakey Carson Smith
    17 R+11 Safe Republican Charles Jones Frank Iler
    18 D+13 Safe Democratic Deb Butler
    19 R+10 Safe Republican Jill Brown Charlie Miller
    20 R+4 Lean Republican Jonathan M. Berger Ted Davis, Jr. (inc)
    21 D+13 Safe Democratic Ya Liu (inc) Mary Miskimon
    22 R+8 Likely Republican Joshua Harrell William Brisson
    23 D+10 Safe Democratic Shelly Willingham Brent Roberson
    24 D+2 Lean Democratic Dante Pittman Ken Fontenot
    25 D+2 Lean Democratic Lorenza M. Wilkins Allen Chesser
    26 R+6 Likely Republican Matthew Wood Donna McDowell White
    27 D+12 Safe Democratic Rodney Pierce
    28 R+16 Safe Republican Tawanda Shepard Larry C. Strickland
    29 D+35 Safe Democratic Vernetta Alston
    30 D+36 Safe Democratic Marcia Morey
    31 D+31 Safe Democratic Zack Hawkins
    32 D+4 Lean Democratic Bryan Cohn Frank Sossamon
    33 D+22 Safe Democratic Monika Johnson-Hostler
    34 D+23 Safe Democratic Tim Longest
    35 R+3 Lean Republican Evonne S. Hopkins Mike Schietzelt
    36 D+5 Lean Democratic Julie von Haefen Becki Allen
    37 R+3 Lean Republican Safiyah Jackson Erin Paré
    38 D+34 Safe Democratic Abe Jones
    39 D+14 Safe Democratic James Roberson
    40 D+13 Safe Democratic Joe John Jerry Doliner
    41 D+18 Safe Democratic Maria Cervania
    42 D+27 Safe Democratic Mike Colvin Leonard L. Bryant
    43 R+4 Lean Republican Janene (Dublin) Ackles Diane Wheatley
    44 D+13 Safe Democratic Charles Smith Freddie de la Cruz
    45 D+10 Safe Democratic Frances Vinell Jackson
    46 R+11 Safe Republican Edward Squires Brenden H. Jones
    47 R+1 Toss up Eshonda Hooper Jarrod Lowery
    48 D+5 Lean Democratic Garland E. Pierce Ralph Carter
    49 D+22 Safe Democratic Cynthia Ball
    50 D+9 Likely Democratic Renee A. Price
    51 R+9 Likely Republican Ginger Bauerband John Sauls
    52 R+6 Likely Republican Jimmy Self Ben Moss, Jr.
    53 R+12 Safe Republican Kevin G. Thurman Howard Penny, Jr.
    54 D+5 Lean Democratic Robert T. Reives II Joe Godfrey
    55 R+9 Likely Republican Judy H. Little Mark Brody
    56 D+37 Safe Democratic Allen Buansi Jeffrey Hoagland
    57 D+18 Safe Democratic Ashton Clemmons Janice Davis
    58 D+28 Safe Democratic Amos Quick
    59 R+5 Lean Republican Tanneshia Dukes Alan Branson
    60 D+15 Safe Democratic Cecil Brockman Joseph Perrotta
    61 D+27 Safe Democratic Mary Price (Pricey) Harrison Crystal T. Davis
    62 R+4 Lean Republican Marjorie Benbow John M. Blust
    63 R+3 Lean Republican Robin Wintringham Stephen Ross
    64 R+4 Lean Republican LeVon Barnes Dennis Riddell
    65 R+15 Safe Republican Reece Pyrtle
    66 D+14 Safe Democratic Sarah Crawford Phillip Lin
    67 R+21 Safe Republican Daniel Quick Cody Huneycutt
    68 R+11 Safe Republican Cristal Robinson David Willis
    69 R+13 Safe Republican Leigh Coulter Dean Arp
    70 R+25 Safe Republican Susan Lee (Susie) Scott Brian Biggs
    71 D+20 Safe Democratic Kanika Brown
    72 D+24 Safe Democratic Amber M. Baker
    73 R+3 Lean Republican Diamond Staton-Williams Jonathan Almond
    74 R+5 Lean Republican Amy Taylor North Jeffrey (Jeff) Zenger
    75 R+6 Likely Republican Caroline Warren Donny C. Lambeth
    76 R+11 Safe Republican Alisha Byrd-Clark Harry Warren
    77 R+25 Safe Republican Kashmir R. Sibby Julia Craven Howard
    78 R+23 Safe Republican Lowell Simon Neal Jackson
    79 R+11 Safe Republican Mary Beedle Keith Kidwell
    80 R+24 Safe Republican Kimberly Titlebaum Sam Watford
    81 R+21 Safe Republican Pamela D. McAfee Larry W. Potts
    82 R+5 Lean Republican Sabrina Berry Brian Echevarria
    83 R+16 Safe Republican Joanne Chesley Grant Campbell
    84 R+16 Safe Republican Chris E. Gilbert Jeffrey C. McNeely
    85 R+21 Safe Republican John Ford Dudley Greene
    86 R+18 Safe Republican Gena Singleton Hugh Blackwell
    87 R+22 Safe Republican Barbara Kirby Destin Hall
    88 D+20 Safe Democratic Mary Belk
    89 R+24 Safe Republican Greg Cranford Mitchell Smith Setzer
    90 R+25 Safe Republican Ken Badgett Sarah Stevens
    91 R+14 Safe Republican Vivian Fulk Kyle Hall
    92 D+21 Safe Democratic Terry Brown
    93 R+6 Likely Republican Ben Massey Ray Pickett
    94 R+26 Safe Republican Steve Moree Blair Eddins
    95 R+15 Safe Republican Mike Robinson Richard (Todd) Carver
    96 R+13 Safe Republican Elizabeth (Eli) Glynn Jay Adams
    97 R+22 Safe Republican Jason Saine
    98 R+1 Toss up Beth Gardner Helfrich Melinda Bales
    99 D+36 Safe Democratic Nasif Majeed Isaiah Payne
    100 D+25 Safe Democratic Julia Greenfield
    101 D+20 Safe Democratic Carolyn G. Logan
    102 D+25 Safe Democratic Becky Carney
    103 D+7 Likely Democratic Laura Budd Joshua Niday
    104 D+7 Likely Democratic Brandon Lofton Krista Bokhari
    105 R+2 Lean Republican Nicole Sidman Tricia Ann Cotham
    106 D+26 Safe Democratic Carla Cunningham
    107 D+35 Safe Democratic Aisha O. Dew
    108 R+15 Safe Republican Sydnie Hutchinson John A. Torbett
    109 R+8 Likely Republican Pam Morgenstern Donnie Loftis
    110 R+14 Safe Republican Justin (JW) Matthews Kelly Hastings
    111 R+21 Safe Republican Frances Rollinson Webber Paul Scott
    112 D+31 Safe Democratic Jordan Lopez
    113 R+15 Safe Republican Michelle Antalec Jake Johnson
    114 D+7 Likely Democratic Eric Ager Sherry M. Higgins
    115 R+2 Lean Republican Lindsey Prather Ruth Smith
    116 D+31 Safe Democratic Brian Turner
    117 R+8 Likely Republican Steve Martinez Jennifer Capps Balkcom
    118 R+10 Safe Republican Evelyn Davidson Mark Pless
    119 R+5 Lean Republican Mark R. Burrows Mike Clampitt
    120 R+22 Safe Republican Nancy Curtis Karl Gillespie
    Source: 2024 Civitas Partisan Index. Names in bold indicate the incumbent

    How we measure the political leanings of North Carolina legislative districts

    We model the CPI after the Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index. The CPI is a measure of the base partisan leanings of a North Carolina state legislative district compared to the state as a whole. For each district, the CPI score lists the party (identified by initials, D or R) the district tends to favor, followed by a number indicating the relative lean of the district toward that party. For example, a district that tends to vote about 7 percent more Democratic than the state average would have a CPI score of D+7.

    The 2024 CPI takes precinct-level results of the ten 2020 Council of State races and the 2022 statewide judicial races using data from the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) precinct sort files. The Republican votes of sixteen races were added together in each state legislative district and divided by the total two-party votes for those sixteen races to get a Republican percentage in each district. That percentage is then subtracted from the Republican statewide average for those sixteen races (51.36%), and rounded up to the nearest whole number, to find the CPI rating for each district. For example, if a district has an average Republican vote of 48.54 percent, it would have a CPI of D+3 (48.54 – 51.36 = -2.82)

    By considering the deviation from the statewide average, the CPI somewhat mitigates effects such as incumbency, uneven races, or “wave” elections.

    The 2020 Council of State races used in the CPI were for governor, lieutenant governor, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of insurance, commissioner of labor, attorney general, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, state treasurer, and state auditor. The 2022 Judicial elections included two Supreme Court races and the four statewide Court of Appeals races.

    There are two ways the CPI may differ from other indexes. First, other indexes may base their scores on a composite of different races (president or United States senator, for example). Second, other indexes might not base their rating on a comparison to the average statewide vote but instead, compare the two-party vote totals when rating a district. Those differences in methodology can produce what appear to be very different results. So, for example, the CPI scores the 1st North Carolina Senate District R+4, while someone using Dave’s Redistricting app might score it R+8. Both ratings are legitimate and indicate a competitive Republican-leaning district.

    How to Use the CPI

    The CPI is not a tool for predicting races since it does not include measures such as incumbency or measures of candidate quality such as funds raised. However, someone using the CPI without any other data would have successfully predicted over 94 percent of races in 2020 and 2022.

    The CPI measures the general tendency of voters in a district to vote for one party or the other. Doing so creates a baseline measure that journalists, researchers, and others can use when examining North Carolina legislative races. Using the CPI can help you gain essential insights into the 2024 election.

    The preceding post is excerpted from “Introducing the 2024 Civitas Partisan Index” which first appeared at the John Locke Foundation’s website on March 7, 2024. For the complete article, including some nifty interactive maps and a complete run-down of JLF’s state Senate rankings, please click here.