Election night results are pouring in from all over the country, and the outcome of voting in states like Vermont, West Virginia, and Massachusetts are already being called. As more polls close and we all wait with bated breath to see which candidate earns electoral votes in the important swing states, you may be left wondering: is North Carolina winner-take-all on election night when it comes to electoral votes? Like most other places, the southern state follows the traditional election rule.
North Carolina, along with the District of Columbia and every other state aside from Nebraska and Maine, follows the "winner-takes-all rule," meaning that whichever candidate gets the majority of the state's popular vote is given all of the electoral votes. It's a process that makes it easier for candidates to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, and was first exercised in the 1824 election. (During that election, the rule actually ended up giving John Quincy Adams the presidency over Andrew Jackson, who had actually received more popular votes than his opponent.) Since that election, the winner-take-all method has become the standard practice in American elections.
So, why do North Carolina's 15 electoral votes matter so much? The state is so important this election because, without its votes, Donald Trump's chances of winning the presidency become pretty narrow.
Whoever wins the majority of the state's popular vote will take home all of the electoral votes, meaning the stakes are high — and everyone is watching what happens next.