POLITICAL CLIMATE CHANGE: Although total voter registration in Asheville grew by almost 19,000 individuals in the past decade
and a half, the number of registered Republicans decreased by nearly 3,000. While there was a spike in Democratic registration
around the time of Barack Obama’s first election, the recent growth in registration has been mostly from unaffiliated voters. Meanwhile,
for City Council elections, Democrats are showing up in disproportionately high numbers. Graphics by Able Allen with data
from the Buncombe County Board of Elections

How local organizers shifted Asheville politics to the left

Movers and shakers on progressive issues have had increasing success in Buncombe County politics since the turn of the century. Activists and organizers on the left have carved out a stronghold in Asheville where they keep power by setting the agenda for conversation according to some. Meanwhile a rise in disaffiliation with the traditional two parties leaves openings for candidates that don’t fit traditional molds in Asheville politics.