This year Davidson moves to its new congressional district after the redistricting effort last year in the state legislature based on the 2010 Census. What does this mean for the average Davidson voter? Well if you are one of the growing number of Republican or conservative independent voters in town it means you'll likely be able to elect a candidate to your liking for the first time in a long time. (See new map at right from ncleg.net., old map below from nationalatlas.gov)
For the better part of the past 20 years, Davidson has been part of NC-12 with Mel Watt as the Town's representative to Congress. Congressman Watt has been the district's only representative since NC regained a 12th Congressional seat after the 1990 census and the district was seated by the 1992 election. This district has been to the Supreme Court 3 times over the years resulting in different changes to its boundaries, and there will likely be court challenges after this latest redistricting as well. Other maps can be seen here.
In years past Davidson had been a heavily Democratic town based on voter registration. The fact that the town was in a district that was guaranteed to stay blue seemed to fit. However, the past decade has seen a decided shift in registration patterns, and there are now more Republicans than Democrats in town - a fact that surprises many. In fact registration is split almost evenly between Republicans (37%), Democrats (32%), and Independents (31%).
I know many of the long-time Davidson residents of the more liberal persuasion probably lament no longer being represented by Mr Watt, but the reality is that Davidson's new home in the 9th District more closely matches the town's voter registration patterns. The 9th is 40% Republican, 32% Democrat, and 28% Independent. Staying in the new 12th district with Democratic Party registration at 64% would be effectively telling a very large percentage of the town's voters that their vote didn't matter much.
Now it does.