SC Gubernatorial Election

Analyzing Precinct-Level Voter Registration Demographics and Turnout in the 2018 SC Gubernatorial Election

Samyuktha Comandur

To understand the recent midterm gubernatorial election outcome between James Smith and Henry McMaster, publicly available data from the South Carolina Election Commission was compiled and studied. Data from 2,223 precincts from the South Carolina Election Commission website, along with precinct-level voter registration racial demographic information furnished by the Election Commission upon email request, were combined into one dataset and analyzed. The relationship between percentage of minority voters in a precinct, specifically, registered voters who self-identified as Black or African-American, and the percentage of turnout for the Democratic candidate was studied using a regression model. Precincts with high propensity to vote Democrat, but low rates of turnout, were identified through this analysis. 

Samyu Comandur is a senior majoring in computer science and statistics at the University of South Carolina. She is currently involved in data analysis and software development projects at the UofSC Center for Digital Humanities, and she hopes to enroll in a doctoral program upon graduation.