Charlotte Mayoral Nominees
City of Charlotte Mayor Nominees | Betting By The Numbers

Charlotte Mayor Nominees | The Numbers 

The voters have chosen their Nominees for Charlotte Mayor, and have no doubt began debating on who will win the seat. If you are betting by the numbers on whose vote count is stacked to win the General Election in 2017, Democrat Vi Lyles or Republican Kenny Smith, careful not to lose the bet. Be sure to consider the all important campaign component and voter history. 

Nominees for Charlotte Mayor, Democrat Mayor Pro-Tem Vi Lyles and Republican City Council Member Kenny Smith will compete for the office of Mayor for the City of Charlotte in the upcoming November 7, 2017 General Election after their Primary victory. The Nominees results reported by North Carolina State Board of Elections on Primary Election Day, showed Mayor Pro-Tem Vi Lyles as the projected winner, commanding an impressive 46% of the Democratic vote over her political incumbents, Mayor of Charlotte Jennifer Roberts with 36% and State Senator Joel Ford with 16% of the vote . Her Republican opponent, City Council Member, Kenny Smith, walked away with an astounding 88.63% of the vote over challengers Gary M. Dunn with 6.19%, and Kimberley Barnett with a nominal 5.18%.

2017 Charlotte Primary Election Results | City Of Charlotte Mayor
City Of Charlotte Mayor | Charlotte Primary Election Results Sept 2017

Betting By The Numbers

While Republican Kenny Smith’s 89% win over his Republican counterparts may seem pretty impressive. It’s not the percentage of the vote, rather maintaining the vote count that matters in the end. In the 2015 Charlotte Mayoral Primary Election, the ultimate victor, Democrat Jennifer Roberts, had 36% or 11,106 of the votes within her party. A key factor to consider in a Primary race, division of same party votes. Votes that will ultimately be combined under total vote count of the party Nominee or winner of the Primary, to strengthen his/her numbers. Jennifer’s Republican challenger, Edwin Peacock III, had a higher percentage of the vote within his own party, 66% or 8,354 votes. So it is clear, the vote count is the shiny object by which to focus your attention. Not large % numbers.

2015 Mayor of Charlotte Primary Election Results | Democrat & Republican
2015 City Of Charlotte Mayor Primary Election Results | Democrat & Republican

That said, Democratic Nominee Vi Lyles is in a comfortable position if you consider results from the Primary. Her Ballot Count alone well exceeded her Republican opponent, pulling in over 15k votes. When you compare Lyle’s final vote count to Smith’s, which was just shy of 8k, it doesn’t seem too promising for the Republican Nominee if you are betting by the numbers. It appears even more sullen for Smith when you factor in the cross over votes from their party opponents. Being extremely conservative and offering the total Ballot Count for each of their opponents, Vi Lyles total count would fall just over 34k votes, and her Republican opponent Kenny Smith, would fare just under 9k votes. That is an incredibly wide gap of a 25k vote deficit for Smith.

Don’t Make Assumptions

If you assume the voter pool that came out in the Primary Election will be the same for the upcoming General Election to be held Tuesday, November 7, 2017, then you might assume Democratic Nominee Vi Lyles is a shoe in, and arguably so. When you compare the numbers apples to apples, she had an astounding 6k more votes than her Republican opponent Kenny Smith. So, if you are betting by the numbers on who will win the General Election for Charlotte Mayor based on vote count, why would this not be a slam dunk for Democrat Vi Lyles?

Voter History

Well, for starters, consider this. Historically more people vote in General Elections exclusively. Why is that? During general inquires with voters, ExpressYourselfBlog has found in the majority of cases, citizens are simply unaware a Primary/Mid-Term Election is occurring. The root cause of that unfortunate reality has multiple layers; However, one consistent mitigating factor across the spectrum is limited exposure and education of voter information that informs and prepares citizens to vote, through the mediums they most access. That is a whole other story or concern, to be continued at a later date. Other citizens felt, their one vote wouldn’t make that much of a difference, so if they made it out to vote, fine, otherwise it was simply not a priority. Concerning, when it is the local elections that most impact people’s daily lives. Another gap in voter education.

Note:  Voter Suppression has consistently been a basis for certain limitations in voter Ballot count, and is currently under review in the state of North Carolina related to findings of unconstitutional policies targeted towards certain groups of the population. ABC News 11 Article on redistricting and Fall election enforced by the courts in response to unconstitutional policies .

Voting Statistics

So, shamefully, a nominal 7.95% (43,337 out of 544,908) of eligible registered voters cast their Ballot in the 2017 Charlotte Primary Election per official results from North Carolina State Board Of Elections. No surprise, the total Ballots cast in 2015 Mayoral Primary Election of combined Republican and Democrat votes, totaled 43, 675 per Ballotpedia‘s NCSBE official report. That same report showed that 79,880 Ballots were cast in the 2015 Charlotte Mayoral General Election. When you do the math, that is an 83% increase in voter Ballots cast from the 2015 Charlotte Mayoral Primary Election verses the Charlotte Mayoral General Election, and confirms conclusively more people come out for General Elections. In 2015 Democrat Jennifer Roberts won Charlotte Mayoral General Election by a margin of 4.7% or approx. 3,730 votes. This after leading her Republican opponent by 4, 457 votes in the Primary Election. A difference in the Primary vs. the General Election that can make a difference in who wins or loses in the end. As witnessed in the 2016 Presidential Election. Voter complacency can’t be an option. 

While the registered ‘Unaffiliated Voter’ in Mecklenburg County is approx. 31% of the population, there is no guarantee they will show up to vote in a non-presidential election year, and if they do, no guarantees on just which Nominee they will ultimately chose. One thing may be clear with unaffiliated voters, they reserve choosing a particular party, and a place a great deal of their decision on the issues.

Charlotte General Election Results
Mayor Of Charlotte | 2015 Charlotte General Election Results

The Campaign Component

Other key factors to consider, when betting by the numbers on who may win the Charlotte Mayoral Election, is the campaign component. Now that there are clear winners for each party (Democrat | Republican), financial backing will significantly increase for both as they have full endorsement from their political parties. This campaign can now procure commercial space, external endorsements, donors, etc., those components that may considerably impact a race through sheer visibility. More money, more ads, more messages delivered to voters. Campaigns with limited resources will need to find strategic ways to combat attack ads, while consistency connecting with voters where they live, work, and play. In addition, voters will have an opportunity to see the Nominees debate the issues. The hope is, their messages will not only energize their base, but ideally the Nominees hope to pull over some independent voters. In short, the Mayoral race is just getting started, and it is anybody’s race to win.

Most Critical Factor

The most critical factor in any race is the voter, and how much they engage in the process and respond to the Nominees. The hope would be that they identify a cause that is most important to them, their family, and their community. Locate resources by which to gather information on the cause or issue, and the Nominees, in preparation to vote informed and in alignment with their own best interest, and the best interest of their fellow citizens, and the nation.


Resist the temptation to set on the sidelines. It is crucial that voters come out in support of their Nominee. The General and Primary are two totally different elections, as the General Election decides the next Mayor of Charlotte. Reach out to your Nominee’s campaign and ask what you can do to help, and bring your friends and family members along. Then activate your voice, and vote. ~Creator, Tonya R

ExpressYourselfBlog, Creative Commentary

Image Sources: Washington Post, Charlotte Observer

Results | Registered Voter Source: North Carolina State Board of Elections | Ballotpedia


Your Voice. Your View.