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The articles from Inside Politics With Steve Harrison appear first in his weekly newsletter, which takes a deeper look at local politics, including the latest news on the Charlotte City Council, what's happening with Mecklenburg County's Board of Commissioners, the North Carolina General Assembly and much more.

New Data: Biden Won Almost Every Charlotte Precinct, Sweeping Former GOP Strongholds

Early voting line
Erin Keever
Early voters line up to cast ballots in the University City area of Charlotte during the 2020 general election.

Four years ago, Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in Mecklenburg County by a little more than 29 percentage points.

In November, Joe Biden improved on that margin, beating Trump by 35.

But where and how Biden won has been a mystery because of the surge in absentee by-mail voting last year.

The precinct-by-precinct results posted on the North Carolina Board of Elections website only includes early in-person voting and Election Day voting.

Mecklenburg County elections director Michael Dickerson only recently sorted nearly 135,000 mail ballots by precinct. That gives a full picture of how the county voted.

When mail ballots are added to early in-person voting and Election Day voting, the county turns an even deeper blue.


Here are some highlights:

Biden won every precinct in the city of Charlotte – except for two.

One is Precinct 121, which votes at William Davie Park off Pineville-Matthews Road in south Charlotte. Most of that precinct covers Piper Glen, a country club where homes are pushing $1 million. Trump won it by eight votes – 1,797 to Biden’s 1,789.

Four years ago, Trump beat Clinton there by 333 votes.

Google Maps
Precinct 121, which includes Piper Glen, is one of two precincts in the city of Charlotte that voted for President Trump.

The other is nearby Precinct 93, which votes at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Carmel Road. That precinct includes upper-middle class homes in neighborhoods like Carmel Station – and also Carmel Country Club.

Trump got 856 votes (53%) there to Biden’s 750 (46%).

That’s a pretty similar result to 2016, when Trump got 54% to Clinton’s 41%.

It makes sense that Carmel Country Club would lean Republican. But that rule didn’t hold true in other areas of big money.

Precinct 8 votes at Myers Park Elementary.

Four years ago, it went for Clinton 50% to 43%. In November it had one of the largest swings in the county to the left, giving Biden a 14-point win, 57 to 43.

Myers Park is emblematic of Charlotte’s old guard – rich, white, historically conservative. The area began turning purple in 2008 with Barack Obama on the ballot. Trump ushered in a stampede to the Democrats.

Precinct 8 wasn’t alone. Four nearby precincts along Providence Road were red four years ago, including Precinct 71, which serves Foxcroft. These areas used to give Republicans like George H.W. Bush roughly 70% of the vote.

All flipped to Biden this time, by comfortable margins.

Myers Park is known as Charlotte’s “old money.” What about its “new money,” in Ballantyne?

Those voters were turned off by Trump as well.

Precinct 140 covers much of Ballantyne Country Club. Clinton squeaked out a win in 2016, by 1.5 percentage points and 57 votes.

In November, Biden won it by 11 points and 499 votes.

Where did Trump do better?

As was the case in many cities, the president did better in heavily African American precincts. He still lost them by overwhelming numbers – but the GOP’s outreach to court Black voters appear to have worked somewhat.

Precinct 39 votes at the Southview Recreation Center off West Boulevard. It’s just east of the airport.

Trump’s vote share went from 4.4% to 7.2% in 2020.

Same story at nearby Precinct 31, which votes at the Barringer Academic Center. His share went from 3.6% to 7.3% in November.

Before the pandemic, the Trump campaign made a big push for African American voters, including running an expensive Super Bowl ad talking about criminal justice reform.

Steve Harrison/WFAE
The Biden campaign made a big push to reach African-American voters. Turnout in majority Black precincts was up compared with 2016, but Trump improved his vote share.

Are there any parts of Mecklenburg that are still Trump Country?

Trump won 14 precincts in the county. Apart from the two precincts in Charlotte, the others were in Matthews/Mint Hill and Cornelius/Huntersville.

The "Trumpiest" place in Mecklenburg is Precinct 242 in Cornelius, which includes The Peninsula Club, a country club on Lake Norman. Four years ago, it gave Trump 65.5% of the vote.

Only a few were deterred during the 2020 election. Trump received 62.7% of the vote.

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.