Carolina Democracy

2022 Lookback: New Trends?

February 20, 2023 JD Wooten Season 2 Episode 2
2022 Lookback: New Trends?
Carolina Democracy
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Carolina Democracy
2022 Lookback: New Trends?
Feb 20, 2023 Season 2 Episode 2
JD Wooten

Welcome back to Carolina Democracy. Today we’re joined by Chaz Beasley, former North Carolina State House Rep. and 2020 candidate for lieutenant governor, for an analysis of the 2022 election. This is part 1 of the conversation, focused on turnout, and part 2 will focus on persuasion.

Contact Us: jd@carolinademocracy.com

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome back to Carolina Democracy. Today we’re joined by Chaz Beasley, former North Carolina State House Rep. and 2020 candidate for lieutenant governor, for an analysis of the 2022 election. This is part 1 of the conversation, focused on turnout, and part 2 will focus on persuasion.

Contact Us: jd@carolinademocracy.com

Follow Us:

Support the Show.

Chaz Beasley: I was a big believer in knocking on doors, a big believer in calling people, going to where people were and connecting with them, greeting people at the polls. And I think that's going to be critical when it comes to future elections, making sure that we are reaching voters where they are going to them not saying, hey, come to our event, saying, let me go to the voters and talk to them one-on-one. 

[music transition]

JD Wooten: Welcome back to Carolina Democracy, I’m JD Wooten, and today we’ve got a great guest interview with Chaz Beasley, former North Carolina State House Rep. and 2020 candidate for lieutenant governor, focusing on an analysis of the 2022 election. But before that, let’s go through a few recent updates. There’s so much we could potentially cover since our last full episode in November, but I’m just going to hit a few highlights to get us started so we can get into the interview.

First, like I said last week in our little teaser, thanks so much to everyone who listened to any, let alone all, of our episodes last year. Doing this podcast has really been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed getting to know people from across the state so much in the process. Second, at least for now, we’re going to shift from weekly to bi-weekly episodes while the political world is more focused on legislative sessions than campaigning. Given the pace at which things move through the General Assembly and the Courts, bi-weekly episodes should be about right to keep up with the major news highlights. And the first several episodes this year will focus on a review and analysis of 2022.

Finally, before we dive into the news, my request continues to be, please spread word of this podcast to anyone who might enjoy hearing from those on the ground fighting for democracy in North Carolina. Unlike social media platforms, or platforms like YouTube, there are no magical algorithms on a centralized platform pushing content to listeners. That’s good and bad, with the biggest downside being that discoverability for new listeners can be a real challenge. For this project to work, we need everyone to share about the podcast. The best way is to just share an episode with a guest you think a friend or family member would appreciate. Maybe they just enjoy that episode and never listen again, or maybe they become a diehard fan, listen to every episode, and share every episode in the future. Either way, we’ve reached someone new and taken a small step to offset the right-wing propaganda and misinformation that has grown over the decades. So yes, just by sharing this episode today, you can be part of the solution, and it doesn’t cost you a dime.

Ok, now for news around North Carolina. Perhaps the most disappointing news in the last few weeks, although not at all surprising, has been the North Carolina Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision to rehear a few cases impacting democracy and voting rights that the new majority evidently just doesn’t like simply because they disagree with the decisions rendered only a month earlier. Despite whatever nonsense arguments you hear on the radical right, that just doesn’t happen in the legal world. When a Court rules, that ruling is final baring some dramatic change of circumstance like newly discovered evidence that couldn’t have been found earlier. In the last 30 years, the state supreme court has been petitioned well over 200 times for a rehearing, and it’s only granted a rehearing twice, both cases involving clear factual mistakes by the court, and neither case involved a contentious political issue or fundamental questions impacting our democracy. Here, the facts haven’t changes since late last year when the Court ruled, so there’s absolutely no reason the Court should be rehearing these cases, period. It’s nothing short of pure political partisanship and I fear it will continue to do lasting damage to the integrity of our Courts and judicial process.

Those cases, for anyone wondering, involve gerrymandering and voter ID. If I was a betting man, my money would be on the new majority ruling that the well-reasoned decisions from last year holding that extreme partisan gerrymandering and the voter ID amendment were unconstitutional are tossed out and we’re back to where we were before decisions were handed down. That would also mean we’re back to fighting unnecessary voter ID laws and extreme gerrymandering without any support from our state courts. I’ll save a more detailed discussion of those cases for later this year when the Court actually hears arguments, but suffice to say, it doesn’t look great.

Ok, what else? Last week State House Speaker Tim Moore gave an interview in which he claimed he’s got agreement from at least one Democratic lawmaker to support an abortion ban at somewhere under 13 weeks, but not a full so-called heartbeat bill at 6 weeks. That’s certainly troubling, but as I said right after the election, not entirely surprising. We still have some socially conservative Democrats in the State House. Why does it matter that the GOP’s found at least one Democrat to sign on? Well, that’s all they need to have a veto-proof supermajority, meaning Governor Cooper and other Democrats generally can’t do a damn thing about it. I guess we’ll find out soon enough whether he’s bluffing, but if there’s any chance your state rep is that person, better start making the phone calls now to put the pressure on to not join the GOP majority in further taking away rights and freedoms.

There also a whole mess of shameful bills making their way through the General Assembly right now, ranging from a “Don’t Say Gay” bill attacking children to bills rolling back gun safety laws despite rising gun violence, but we’d be here all day if we started going into each one right now. Since they’re all bills in early stages right now and will likely change at least some, if not dramatically, before becoming final bills ready for a vote in both chambers, we’ll table discussion on most of those so as not to waste time on things that aren’t actually going anywhere. On a positive note, it does sound like both chambers are a lot more hopeful that Medicaid Expansion will have a reasonable chance of passing this year. It may come with some other strings like work requirements, and it may be attached to some other provisions like repealing certificate of need laws and expanding practice eligibility for nurse practitioners, but we’ll see what the House and Senate hammer out in negotiations before getting too in the weeds on those details. The nice thing is that it sounds hopeful we may actually get there.

Ok, that’s probably enough for news updates right now. If you want more updates from around North Carolina, I suggest subscribing to Carolina Forward’s weekly email updates at carolinaforward.org or subscribe to the PoliticsNC blog at politicnc.com. Both are great sources of information and opinions on the latest political news in North Carolina. I also love Cardinal & Pine and The Assembly as more traditional news sources that don’t try to play the silly “both sides” game when one side is clearly just lying or making stuff up, and both also offer plenty of great non-politically related content as well.

Now, for a brief introduction of our interview today, Chaz Beasley recently undertook an analysis of the 2022 election here in North Carolina and I thought man, what better place to start our 2023 season than a review of what happened in the 2022 elections? Chaz and I had every intention of keeping our recording to less than 30 minutes, but what can I say, we didn’t. Thankfully, our conversation naturally broke into issues of turnout and persuasion, and fairly equally on time, so for today’s episode, you’ll get to hear the first half of our conversation focused on turnout. Our next episode will pick back up with the 2nd half of our conversation focused on persuasion. So if our ending feels a little abrupt today, don’t worry, that’s just because it wasn’t actually the end of the conversation and we’ll pick back up next time to discuss what the data suggests about persuasion issues in the 2022 elections.

Now, here’s the first part of my interview with Chaz Beasley, hope you enjoy.

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JD Wooten: With me today is Chaz Beasley, former North Carolina State Representative and current finance attorney from Charlotte. Welcome, Chaz. 

Chaz Beasley: Hey JD, how's it going? 

JD Wooten: Going great, so glad you could be here today. So first question, as a first time guest, what's your earliest memory of politics or getting involved in politics?

Chaz Beasley: So my earliest memory of politics was the Gant- Helms race for Senate. I remember being a really, really little kid and asking my mom questions about it cause it was such a big story. And I'm very fortunate to call Mayor Gant a friend now. It's crazy how life comes full circle, but I think so much of my political awareness came from that race and so much of the drama that went down in that race. And, you know, so much of my political interest came from it. So that's my first memory. I was not involved in that race, but it was definitely one of the first times that I remember actually being aware of an election.

JD Wooten: So I have to ask a clarifying question. The '90 or the '96 race?

Chaz Beasley: I actually remember the '90, I was only five, but I remember the '90. And the reason why I know it wasn't the '96 race is because I remember asking my mom about it in the apartments that we were living in in '90. So you know, it was definitely something that stuck with me and left a pretty indelible mark on me. 

JD Wooten: Well, that would've been my guess, but I just thought I'd clarify. So let's start with a little political background. You served two terms in the State House representing District 92. What led you to running for the first time in 2016? 

Chaz Beasley: Well, I think that one of the things that we saw back in 2016 was just how important it was to have people who had lived the experiences that people were dealing with on a day to day basis in the General Assembly. I was running in a seat that was held by the Republicans at the time. The Republican who was in the seat when I decided to run, had won that seat by five points in 2014. In 2016, I was very fortunate to win it by nine points. That's a 14 point swing in one house district in two years. And so one of the reasons why I wanted to run was because I thought he was a really good guy, but I also thought that he was voting for and rubber stamping a lot of the priorities of the Republicans that were not good for the district and were not good for the state. And I'm very fortunate that I was able to have the support of so many people who understood the importance of the race and who really knew just how critical it was going to be to get us below that super majority level. Unfortunately we didn't get that done in 2016, but I'm happy that I played a role in us getting that done in 2018. And now I think we're starting to see just how important it is that the Republicans do not have a super majority in the House and they're one vote away in the House and it's going to be a pretty thin margin. So I can definitely relate to some of the things that some of the current legislators are dealing.

JD Wooten: Yeah. As I understand it, two people take a walk for a bathroom break, or one person flips their vote, and the Republicans have a functioning super majority. 

Chaz Beasley: Yep, yep. And so, you know, it's one of those situations where it's unfortunate that so many people have to really like, you know, go through a lot of things just to make sure that they are there every moment of every time just in case some sort of veto override pops up. And I think we see just how many sacrifices people are willing to make to be in the legislature. It's a very difficult job, and one of the things that makes it much tougher is when you don't know the schedule, and you're not able to plan things that may make it a little bit easier to serve. So my heart goes out to everyone that's making that sacrifice for our state.

JD Wooten: I know that there are some dedicated members of the caucus on both the House and the Senate side, and I have heard stories of individuals who are supposed to be at home on bedrest following major surgeries coming in just to make sure that veto override didn't happen while they were at home recovering. 

Chaz Beasley: It's absolutely true. I saw it firsthand as well. 

JD Wooten: So since the focus today is going to be more on an analysis of the 2022 elections, let me ask this, what's a lasting lesson you learned during your legislative campaigns about connecting with and turning out voters?

Chaz Beasley: Well, I think the biggest lesson is that you have to go to where your voters are and not where you wish your voters were. So one of the jokes that I kind of have about some of a fellow progressives and fellow Democrats is that if I could make one wish, I would ban them from going to rubber chicken dinners, because I think that so many of them think that events are the sum total of campaigns. And frankly that goes across the board. But what I started to find when I was running for the North Carolina House was because my was along the edges of Mecklenburg County, a lot of times I would walk into rooms where there was not a single voter who lived in District 92 in the room. And so after a while it just kind of clicked that I can't continue to campaign with only events. Now again, I was joking earlier when I said that I would stop people from going to these events at all. They are very important in a lot of ways, and people can make a lot of really valuable connections at them, but you have to do more than just do those events. I was a big believer in knocking on doors, a big believer in calling people, going to where people were and connecting with them, greeting people at the polls. I think that's all critical and we started that early, so we didn't start knocking on doors in the fall, we started knocking on doors in the spring of our election year. And so that gave us runway to figure out what worked and what didn't. And I think that's going to be critical when it comes to future elections, making sure that we are reaching voters where they are going to them not saying, hey, come to our event, saying, let me go to the voters and talk to them one-on-one. 

JD Wooten: I do recall that feeling of, okay, if I'm at a Democratic Party event, I've got the vote already locked up of everybody in this room. So how do I balance that with, okay, these are my super volunteers, my donors, etc. I need to keep them in my wheelhouse, but I'm not getting any new votes when I'm at this event either. 

Chaz Beasley: That's absolutely true. 

JD Wooten: Now in 2020 you ran for Lieutenant Governor and managed to finish a very close third place in Democratic primary in a quite crowded field, earning nearly 20% of that vote. Any lessons learned during that statewide primary campaign that you think really informed the way you look at the 2022 election results in North Carolina? 

Chaz Beasley: Absolutely. So I think number one, that it's a big state. It's a very, very big state. And it's a very diverse state in a lot of ways. It's diverse racially and ethnically. It's diverse socioeconomically. It's diverse in terms of the fact that you can go from the mountains to the ocean, and that matters when you're driving from one end of the state to the other. And you can easily, easily drive six, seven hours to get to some parts of North Carolina. So I think that it's tremendously critical that we keep that in mind, that political geography is a real thing, and it does matter when you're building out a campaign. The other thing, of course, is that we have to remember, no disrespect to any of your listeners, but as political junkies, we are not the typical person. We're not even the typical voter, all right? We love this stuff. This is like our thing. But for a lot of people, you can't look at them sideways when they say, oh, is there an election going on? And I think sometimes, you know, we as politically engaged people can kind of look at people sideways when they say that they didn't know that there was an election or they didn't realize they got busy or something happened. And I think sometimes we have to extend a little bit of grace to voters and understand that they do have competing priorities and we have to make sure that we are demonstrating the need for them to come out and vote. So those are two things that I think were, you know, tremendously helpful. I say to people all the time that, you know, although I wish that that race had gone differently, I learned a tremendous amount of lessons, and I would not trade those lessons for the world. So I wouldn't change a thing. But I know what I would do in the future, presented with a similar scenario.

JD Wooten: Something came to mind while you were saying that about our listeners. I think if I had tried to start a political podcast without having run for office first, I would've been very, very disappointed and personally upset and the number of family and friends who don't wanna listen to my podcast. But having been through a couple of campaigns, I was already well aware of how many people in the world maybe don't live and breathe this stuff the same way we do. 

Chaz Beasley: Right, absolutely. 

JD Wooten: So, shifting to a review of 2022, which is our purpose here today, I understand you've got some ground rules to get going. Why don't you explain this for us? 

Chaz Beasley: Yeah, sure. So I'll just read them off. They're five of them, and I think that they're important to keep in mind when you're trying to decide, okay, how am I going to do an election analysis? And I'll say this before I jump into the five. I have done for every single race that I've ever run, and I've run three races, not including primaries thus far. I do an election analysis before and after every single one, and I try to use these five rules to guide me when I'm thinking and talking to other people about me. So I'm not telling other candidates or criticizing other candidates in a way that I would not analyze myself. So my first rule is that Facebook's not your friend. And what I mean by that is there are a lot of myths that take off on social media immediately after elections. And it's important to remember that a lot of times those ideas are worth exploring, but they may not necessarily be what the data's telling us, or what an analysis would tell us. So I treat those more as hypotheses to be tested rather than things that are definitely, absolute. 

The other point that I bring up in any election analysis is be trendy. In other words, look at how things change over time. Don't just look at one election, compare this election to past elections. Are you seeing things heading in a Democratic direction even though you're losing? Are you seeing things heading in a Republican direction even though you're winning? Those are important to demonstrate. 

The third is a statement that, you know, a lot of people just tell me as a child, if you do what you've always done, you'll have what you've always had. And that is that elections are evolutionary processes. Every election is slightly or significantly different than the last one. So you can't just say, well, this is how elections are run. And you do the exact same thing every election, and that's just how you do it, because chances are, you might end up running a campaign that would win the last election and not this election.

The other one is that everyone will be wrong, but not everyone has to stay wrong. Look, none of us are perfect, and I have not been a perfect candidate. You know, we, we've all had things that we can learn from. Trying to figure out what those things are that you could fix and then fix them. Not to go into an election analysis saying, you know, I'm going to be on the defensive. I'm not going to admit anything that I did wrong. It was all the world was conspiring against me. No, there's some things that are outside of your control and some things that are within your control. You have to take the reigns of that.

And the fifth one is no hard feelings, only hard numbers. The numbers say what they say that can be uncomfortable. But I'll tell you this from a personal perspective. I have done these election reviews for myself, and there's always something in every single election that as a candidate will make you kind of shift in your seat, or something you're like, man, if I'd have known what I knew now, right? That's an important and a healthy part of the process, so it's key that we don't take it personally when you say you could have done this or you could have done that, or the numbers say this didn't work, because it is very easy to get very protective of our campaigns because we put in a lot of effort. I know you know that firsthand. It's a lot of work to run for office, so you kind of start to look at your campaign as your baby and kind of be a little protective over it. But sometimes you gotta let that go when it comes to election analysis. So those are the five things that I use to guide me when I'm doing any of these reviews and have done these reviews in the past.

JD Wooten: Brilliant, great ground rules. So moving into what 2022 actually looked like, Democrats lost all the statewide races that were on the ballot. Six judicial races in the US Senate race. Lost two seats in both the State Senate and the State House. Democrats fared a little better in the congressional races, but in my mind those were perhaps a little bit outliers under temporary maps as well. But we can talk more about that in a minute. So that said, why don't we talk about some of those myths versus realities that are out there. On the turnout side, one that I've heard, and I know you've talked to this before: we lost in 2022 because Democrats didn't show up.

Chaz Beasley: Yeah, so I think that this is one of those myths that definitely has a kernel truth to it. If you look at turnout among Democrats overall, There wasn't a huge change, actually. If you look at the share of Democrats as a percentage of the electorate there wasn't a huge change. But what you did see was that among key demographics that tend to vote Democratic overwhelmingly, or tend to vote for more progressive-minded candidates, there was a drop off. So you saw that among Black voters. You saw that among Latino voters. You saw that among Millennials and Gen Z-ers. These are electorates that when they come out to vote, they do tend to vote for democratic candidates. But usually the choice that they're making is not whether or not to vote for a Democrat or a Republican. They're usually deciding on whether or not there's something on the ballot for them, or something else is a more of a priority and it's not really a priority to vote and they don't show up. So again, and it goes back to what we were talking about before, remember, we're not the typical voter. We love this stuff. This is our thing. The typical voter has competing priorities, and so we can't fault them for that. We need to make sure that we're understanding and dissecting it. 

JD Wooten: So here's another one: minority and rural Democrat turnout crater. 

Chaz Beasley: Yeah. So among Black voters and among Latino voters, we did see a significant drop. And we have to acknowledge that that was critical. And one of the things that we are also seeing is that among a lot of rural Democrats, particularly rural Black Democrats, turn out numbers have started to go down. Over the past few elections, the trend has generally been that more and more people are showing up to vote. That was really the trend through 2020. You started to see that even in off year where so-called Blue Moon elections, where there isn't a US Senate race on the ballot in North Carolina. That even for those turnout was going up, but that didn't play out this time. So it's very important that we recognize that we're starting to see warning signs and we need to pay close attention to those because they can make a big difference when it comes to what happens in statewide elections in states that are close like ours.

JD Wooten: So final one on the turnout side: we should base our strategy on turning out likely voters. 

Chaz Beasley: So this is one of those myths that I think has a bit of a problem to it. I think that in a lot of ways, likely voter models can be self-fulfilling prophecies. You can tend to invest a lot of resources and time into voters that are likely, and you think they're likely because you say they're likely, and because you invest resources in them, you start to see movement. But they may not necessarily be the most receptive to efforts to actually turn them out. So what do I mean by that? You could be a likely voter and be like, you and me. I don't need any mail in my mailbox. I don't need to see any Facebook ads. I'm showing up, and chances are I'll know exactly who I'm voting for. And chances are my in-laws and my relatives are going to reach out to me and say, Hey, you know, who should I vote for? And I feel like you're probably similar, JD, and that people are probably like, all right, who you vote for JD? Like, tell me like, who should I vote for? And you're like, well, let me bring up my spreadsheet. So again, we're not the typical voter. So it may be that we're spending too much time talking to people that already have that get up and go. We got to acknowledge that, we got to look into that. It may be that some people literally voting is not on their radar. And with a little bit of a nudge, they may actually jump in. 

JD Wooten: One thing I want to emphasize in what you just said, I take the same perspective and I'm hearing it in your explanation too, I think it's really important for us in looking at analysis, those of us that are super engaged and fighting on this side, I think it's more helpful to fixing problems or addressing things when we look at it, okay, where was our failure to give somebody the incentive to turn out? Not why did they fail to turn out? Why did we fail to get them to turn out? It's just an ownership thing. But like you said at the beginning, people have a lot of competing priorities on their schedule, and if they don't feel like their vote matters and they don't care, and there's not an important issue, and you know, the list goes on, just drive on right by. So turning to the actual numbers and the data, and it might be a tough bill to swallow, but how was the turnout overall in 2022 by party, overall, demographics. Tell us what story, the numbers share with us.

Chaz Beasley: Yeah, so unfortunately as we were talking about a little bit earlier for a lot of key Democratic demographics, numbers were down. Turnout was down among Black people overall, both Black men and Black women. Black women tend to be a very strong voting block for Democrats. And they tend to vote in really strong numbers. Their numbers were still higher but they did drop by a larger percentage than Black men's numbers. But that's also because they had a bigger number to begin with, so it's important to keep that in mind. I think that one of the really tough numbers that we really have to grapple with is the fact that three out of four registered Latino voters, so these are people that are already eligible to vote. Three out of four of them did not vote in the 2022 general election. And again, as we were talking about before, that can't just be, oh, they're not doing their part. Oh, they're not doing enough. Part of that number has to be engagement. It has to be that we are not doing a good enough job getting Latino voters engaged enough to show up to vote, and also recognizing the fact that Latinos are a very diverse group of very different voting patterns. Most Latinos in North Carolina come from a Mexican or Mexican American background. But that doesn't change the fact that there's still a large cross-section of other people from other Latino countries and also Puerto Rico that are in North Carolina. We gotta figure out how we can do a better job of engaging them, talking to them, making sure that they're being brought into the fold because 26% turnout that is an unacceptably low number. And of course we also have to look at the fact that in a lot of areas the number of Gen Zers that voted were down. And the number of Millennial voters were much smaller than you would expect. So those are just a few examples of voting demographics, of voting groups, that tend to vote Democratic, just did have the numbers that you would want to see in North Carolina if you're a US Senate candidate like Cheri Beasley.

JD Wooten: Right. And going back to one of your rules, looking at the trends, I think for the Latino vote that group was well over a third, maybe approaching 40% turnout in the last midterm 2018, I believe. And so definitely heading the wrong direction. 

Chaz Beasley: Right, right, right. and I just wanna reiterate this cause I think it's a very important point. We cannot look at numbers like that and say, why didn't they, once you start saying, why didn't they, you've already started to kind of offload some of the responsibility on a big group of people who have many different reasons why they do or do not vote. So I think that instead of, you know, kind of going down the why didn't they route, we should start saying, what about what we are doing is not resonating with this group, that group? And we might find that sometimes we're actually doing a better job because again, the trend is headed the right direction. It's just their numbers are still small and they're going up, but that's not what we're seeing in the data for 2022.

JD Wooten: Sure. Where can we do better? 

Chaz Beasley: Absolutely. 

JD Wooten: Where are we coming up short? We being the people that, like we were describing earlier, I don't need a postcard to remind me when the primary election is the primary of the off year for the city council's replacement election runoff. I'm there. I'm the guy in the office nobody wants to hear from. How do we get those other people that may not be quite so inclined? All right, so I do wanna dig in a little bit more on the generational thing because I do think this is fascinating. I've read a lot lately about how historically, one would expect voter patterns to shift a little over time. As people get older, they tend to vote a little bit more conservatively. There seems to be a lot of talk right now, and I don't know if it'll play out, that may or may not really be happening for millennials. But we've also got this turnout problem, so it's like great. We're back to that persuasion, but it's not persuading them to vote on the progressive agenda. It's persuading them to show up and, you know, I think it's too early really to know about Gen Z, but what are your thoughts on that with the different millennial cohorts? 

Chaz Beasley: Yeah, I think that it goes back to what we were chatting about a little bit earlier. Persuasion is very different when you're talking about a group that's deciding whether they can be persuade to vote to begin with. I saw a similar article, probably the exact same article you saw where they were talking about how there's that old myth that I forgot the saying, but the young person who votes progressive you know has a heart, and an old person that votes conservative, has a brain or something like that. It's some kinda saying like that, I've heard it before and if I butchered it, don't, don't post on Twitter. I'm, I'm working off a memory here. But you know, we're not seeing that show up in the data, and I think part of that is because other generations did not come of political age in a polarized era. If you look at the greatest generation, for example, a lot of them voted across party. But at the same time, a lot of people in the greatest generation, my grandmother's a prime example, my great-grandmother who just passed away a couple years ago. She was 44 when the Civil Rights Act was passed. So she was literally older than me when she got the right to vote. So that meant that polarization did not have the same play, but it also meant there were a lot of people that just weren't even in the tent to vote. So that changed things. And you've seen as more and more generations have gotten older and older, more and more of them have started to come of age in a super polarized environment where there are a lot of different competing interests and where there are a lot of very clear lines between the parties. there are many criticisms that can be leveled at people who are politically engaged. One of the ones that drives me crazy, absolutely crazy, is when people are like, there's no difference between the parties. Really? Come on. There's huge differences between the parties, and I think that even if you don't think that's a good thing, you gotta at least admit there's a big difference. You know, you're not getting Coke or Pepsi, you know you're getting, two pretty big differences. So you know, I think that that's important to realize and recognize. So I do think that given the, the big differences between the parties, you're probably going to see that there will continue to a big difference between whether or not people who are Millennials or Gen Zers are voting or staying home. That's going to be the ballgame. It's not going to be, am I voting for Ted Budd, or am I voting for Cheri Beasley? That's not going to be the ballgame. It's going to be showing up to begin with. 

JD Wooten: Yeah, there's a tremendous difference between the parties. All right, so turnout, we know the takeaways, we've talked to this, turnout was down in 2022 as compared to 2018. We know that the Black and Latino turnout is a little bit of a cause for concern as we're looking back on those trends, keeping to that. Anything else on the turnout side you want to address and how we saw that play out?

Chaz Beasley: Yeah, I think that it's going to be really important to keep in mind that one election does not a trend to make, right? This could be something where in 2024 you start to continue to see that upward trend. But that's the reason why you do election analysis because then you have in your head, all right, this is something I need to be on it look out for. I need to keep an eye on this in 2024, so that you don't get caught napping.

JD Wooten: Like happened in 2010. That was a rough year to be napping. 

Chaz Beasley: Right, right. 

JD Wooten: Well, Chaz, thank you so much for joining us today. It's been a real pleasure. 

Chaz Beasley: Thanks, JD, I appreciate it. I'll talk to you soon.

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JD Wooten: Thanks again to Chaz for joining to share his take on the 2022 elections, and thanks everyone for listening today. Stayed tuned for part 2 of my interview with Chaz where we discuss what the data from the 2022 election tells us about the persuasion side of the story. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, send me an email at jd@carolinademocracy.com. And as always, please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and share this episode with a friend. Together, we can achieve a better North Carolina for everyone!

 

Introduction
Interview with Chaz Beasley
Closing Notes