Democrats Lead in North Carolina Early-Vote Tally

Democrats Lead in North Carolina Early-Vote Tally

By David Byler - November 2, 2014

In-person early voting in North Carolina ended Saturday night with Democrats leading Republicans, 47.6 percent-31.9 percent. Those percentages reflect both early voting and absentee ballots returned, according to the state Board of Elections.

This tally could be a positive sign for Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who is running for re-election against Republican Thom Tillis. Hagan leads Tillis by a narrow margin, 44.1 percent-43 percent, according to the RCP polling average. (Libertarian Sean Haugh trails both at 4.7 percent.)

Strong Democratic early voting numbers do not guarantee a win for Hagan, of course. In 2012, Democrats led Republicans, 48 percent-32 percent, in early voting. Despite this GOP deficit, Mitt Romney carried the Tar Heel State, 50.4 percent-48.4 percent, over President Obama. 

Almost 1.2 million ballots have been cast so far this year, 95 percent of which were cast in person. These early votes, along with absentee ballots, represent 17.4 percent of the state’s 6.6 million registered voters and an even greater proportion of the likely voting population. In 2012, 2.7 million North Carolinians -- roughly 60 percent of the 4.5 million who cast ballots in the presidential election -- voted before Election Day. In 2010, 956,910 voters cast their ballots early -- roughly a third of the nearly 2.7 million voters who cast ballots in that year’s midterm election.

Absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day and received by Nov. 7h will be counted.

David Byler is an elections analyst for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @davidbylerRCP.

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