Will North Carolina Go Blue? Early Voting Looks Promising For Hillary Clinton
For all the talk about nationwide leads in the polls, the popular vote doesn't decide who the next president will be. That is because we still use the system devised by the Founding Fathers to protect us from direct Democracy and the tyranny of the majority. Yes, the Electoral College. So what really will matter come Tuesday, Nov. 8, is racking up the Electoral College votes, particularly in the swing states. So in that vein, will North Carolina go blue?
The New York Times reported their most recent polling average for the state, which has Clinton up by 4 points. With that kind of margin, it would be hard to believe that Clinton couldn't turn the state blue. Of course Obama won North Carolina in 2008, narrowly, but then lost it in 2012. The paper points out that Clinton's lead is an improvement from September, when she and Trump were about tied.
Now, of course, not all polls are created equal. So if you take a look at FiveThirtyEight's amalgam of polls and other data, Clinton is still in with a shot to win the state. Her odds were at high as 62 percent on Oct. 25, two weeks ahead of the election, but they lowered to just under 48 percent by Nov. 3. It's definitely not the 4 percentage points from the Times, but as of Nov. 2, Nate Silver and his team's polls plus forecast has Clinton taking home 47.7 percent of the vote, only just behind Trump's 48 percent. That's a difference of just .3 percentage points. But that can still amount to a win.
On top of all that, it also seems that early voting is leaning Democratic at rates we haven't seen in recent races. According to The Charlotte Observer, Democrats currently account for 47.7 percent of the total early votes, even though they make up just under 40 percent of registered voters. Democrats regularly win in early voting and Republicans have better turnout on the day of, but according to the paper, so far this year the discrepancy is even bigger.
That could tip some other races blue, too, and not just the presidential election. In the Senate race, Deborah Ross has been gaining, Bloomberg Politics reported. As of Nov 1, she trails her Republican opponent Richard Burr by just under a point according to RealClearPolitics's most recent poll average, and the Times' most recent average puts her behind by a mere .1 points. Bloomberg puts forward in their piece that a strong turnout for Clinton could also push Ross over the finish line.
So nothing is ever 100 percent certain in politics, but it really does seem like North Carolina could go blue.