North Carolina

  1. Mitt Romney won 51 percent of the vote in North Carolina on Tuesday, but lost other key swing states to Barack Obama. 
While counties like Mecklenburg and Wilkes were blowouts for Obama and Romney respectively, many of the state’s counties saw much closer races. For example Romney won Dare County by only 26 votes.
Click here to explore an interactive that shows how North Carolina’s 100 counties voted.

    Mitt Romney won 51 percent of the vote in North Carolina on Tuesday, but lost other key swing states to Barack Obama. 

    While counties like Mecklenburg and Wilkes were blowouts for Obama and Romney respectively, many of the state’s counties saw much closer races. For example Romney won Dare County by only 26 votes.

    Click here to explore an interactive that shows how North Carolina’s 100 counties voted.

    dailytarheel.com »

  2. Video by the multimedia staff of The Daily Tar Heel

    At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, College Republicans and Young Democrats gathered at local restaurants to watch the results of the 2012 presidential election.

    dailytarheel.com »

  3. Story by Maddy Will and graphic by Cece Pascual and Bailey Seitter for The Daily Tar Heel
The next president of the United States will be decided today, and North Carolinians could play a key role.
After a campaign season where both parties focused on get-out-the-vote efforts, the race in the state hinges on voter turnout.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is leading North Carolina by 3 percentage points, according to Real Clear Politics, an organization that aggregates polling data.
But Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning Raleigh polling firm, said the race is still too close to call in the state.
The firm has President Barack Obama and Romney in a near-tie.
Obama won North Carolina by about 14,000 votes in 2008, and Jensen said if Obama takes the state again, it will be even closer.
“The key region in the state is the Triangle,” he said. “Obama, in 2008, lost every region in the state other than the Triangle, but he won the Triangle by such a large margin that he won the state. (This year), he not only needs to win, but he needs to have a large turnout to make up for what we expect will be losses in the other areas.”
Tracy Reams, director of the Orange County Board of Elections, said the county has more registered Democrats than Republicans.
But she said the county saw a decrease in early voting turnout from 2008, from 51,961 ballots cast early to 50,243 this year.
There has been a slight uptick in early voting across the state compared to 2008, when 2.6 million votes were cast before election day. This year, 2.7 million have been cast so far.
According to Public Policy Polling, Obama led by 9 percentage points in the state’s two-week early voting period. But Romney is ahead by 16 points among those who plan to vote today.
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Michael Cobb, political science professor at N.C. State University, said while Democrats are more likely to vote early, they are also more fickle in election day turnout.
“Obama won on early voting in 2008 and lost on Election Day (in the state), but he had enough to win,” he said. “My guess is that he’s got a good lead, but I don’t know if it’s enough.”
Romney is leading among independents by 15 points, according to Public Policy Polling.
“In 2008, we found Obama winning independent voters, so this is a major shift,” Jensen said.
“Romney is really right around where he needs to be with independents in order to win.”
Obama’s campaign has successfully targeted certain demographics likely to lean Democratic, Cobb said.
N.C. Hispanic voter registration increased since 2008 by 65.9 percent, according to State Board of Elections data.
Kathy Smith, Wake Forest University political science professor, said Hispanics typically agree with Republicans on social issues, but immigration policy has cemented the Hispanic vote for Democrats.
According to most polling data, Hispanics favor Obama by a single-digit margin.
“The slight … preference for Romney over Obama in N.C. makes any united block a very important factor in the presidential election — but only if they show up and vote,” Smith said in an email.

    Story by Maddy Will and graphic by Cece Pascual and Bailey Seitter for The Daily Tar Heel

    The next president of the United States will be decided today, and North Carolinians could play a key role.

    After a campaign season where both parties focused on get-out-the-vote efforts, the race in the state hinges on voter turnout.

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is leading North Carolina by 3 percentage points, according to Real Clear Politics, an organization that aggregates polling data.

    But Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning Raleigh polling firm, said the race is still too close to call in the state.

    The firm has President Barack Obama and Romney in a near-tie.

    Obama won North Carolina by about 14,000 votes in 2008, and Jensen said if Obama takes the state again, it will be even closer.

    “The key region in the state is the Triangle,” he said. “Obama, in 2008, lost every region in the state other than the Triangle, but he won the Triangle by such a large margin that he won the state. (This year), he not only needs to win, but he needs to have a large turnout to make up for what we expect will be losses in the other areas.”

    Tracy Reams, director of the Orange County Board of Elections, said the county has more registered Democrats than Republicans.

    But she said the county saw a decrease in early voting turnout from 2008, from 51,961 ballots cast early to 50,243 this year.

    There has been a slight uptick in early voting across the state compared to 2008, when 2.6 million votes were cast before election day. This year, 2.7 million have been cast so far.

    According to Public Policy Polling, Obama led by 9 percentage points in the state’s two-week early voting period. But Romney is ahead by 16 points among those who plan to vote today.

    Read More

    dailytarheel.com »

  4. According to the Huffington Post Election Dashboard, North Carolina has officially switched from a tossup state to a red state. The dashboard’s most recent model estimates that Mitt Romney leads President Obama 49.2 percent to 46.7.
However, the newest addition to the model, a poll out of Elon University, shows the state in a dead heat where both candidates have 45 percent of the vote.  
Check out the poll tracker for yourself to see how your state’s electoral votes stack up.

    According to the Huffington Post Election Dashboard, North Carolina has officially switched from a tossup state to a red state. The dashboard’s most recent model estimates that Mitt Romney leads President Obama 49.2 percent to 46.7.

    However, the newest addition to the model, a poll out of Elon University, shows the state in a dead heat where both candidates have 45 percent of the vote.  

    Check out the poll tracker for yourself to see how your state’s electoral votes stack up.

    The Huffington Post »

  5. Newly drawn districts in NC a possible roadblock for fair election
Story by Eric Garcia for The Daily Tar Heel
With more than 60 uncontested seats in the N.C. legislature on ballots in this fall’s election, some experts are concerned that newly drawn district maps are favoring one party over another.
Republicans won majorities in both the N.C. House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time in more than 100 years in 2010, which enabled them to oversee the redrawing of district lines. November’s election is the first time these new lines will apply.
Members of both parties have said they are open to revamping the redistricting process — by tasking a nonpartisan board with drawing lines rather than the party in control — but efforts to reform the process have stalled in the past.
Rob Schofield, director of research and policy development at the left-leaning N.C. Policy Watch, said the redrawn lines grant a clear advantage to Republicans.
“It’s safe to say,” he said, “the maps that they have drawn are structured in such ways that would make it impossible for Democrats to recapture the legislature.”
But Jeanette Doran, executive director and general counsel for the right-leaning N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law, said redrawn lines do not guarantee outcomes for an election.
“Just because one party controls redistricting doesn’t mean it controls future majorities,” Doran said, pointing out that Democrats had controlled redistricting in the past but still lost the 2010 election.
Read the full story HERE. 

    Newly drawn districts in NC a possible roadblock for fair election

    Story by Eric Garcia for The Daily Tar Heel

    With more than 60 uncontested seats in the N.C. legislature on ballots in this fall’s election, some experts are concerned that newly drawn district maps are favoring one party over another.

    Republicans won majorities in both the N.C. House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time in more than 100 years in 2010, which enabled them to oversee the redrawing of district lines. November’s election is the first time these new lines will apply.

    Members of both parties have said they are open to revamping the redistricting process — by tasking a nonpartisan board with drawing lines rather than the party in control — but efforts to reform the process have stalled in the past.

    Rob Schofield, director of research and policy development at the left-leaning N.C. Policy Watch, said the redrawn lines grant a clear advantage to Republicans.

    “It’s safe to say,” he said, “the maps that they have drawn are structured in such ways that would make it impossible for Democrats to recapture the legislature.”

    But Jeanette Doran, executive director and general counsel for the right-leaning N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law, said redrawn lines do not guarantee outcomes for an election.

    “Just because one party controls redistricting doesn’t mean it controls future majorities,” Doran said, pointing out that Democrats had controlled redistricting in the past but still lost the 2010 election.

    Read the full story HERE

    dailytarheel.com »

  6. Early voters could tip scales in NC
Photo by Cristina Barletta and story by Lucinda Shen for The Daily Tar Heel
Although election day is 14 days away, the battle to drive North Carolina residents to the polls is already underway for both major political parties.
After President Barack Obama narrowly won the traditionally Republican-leaning state by about 14,000 votes in 2008, the GOP has pledged to boost turnout this election cycle.
According to a party memo, Republicans have made seven times more phone calls and 121 times more door knocks in North Carolina than in 2008.
The efforts have paid off.
Compared to a similar time period before the 2008 election, more than 45,000 more registered Republicans have voted early this year.
Republicans have an advantage with mail-in ballots, submitting about 21,000 more than Democrats as of Sunday.
But Democrats have dominated in-person early voting, outpacing Republicans by more than 100,000 ballots.
Steven Greene, a political science professor at N.C. State University, said Republicans traditionally push the mail-in ballot, while early in-person voting has historically helped boost the Democratic vote. Although Obama received less votes on election day in 2008, early votes still carried him through.
Business professionals who travel frequently — and tend to lean Republican — often need to mail in ballots, said Johnnie McLean, deputy director of the N.C. State Board of Elections.
In-person early voting depends more on campaigns’ get-out-the-vote efforts, Greene said.
“Early voting creates a potential for the side with more organization on the ground,” he said. “In N.C., that is the Obama campaign.”
But the enthusiasm that carried Obama to victory in 2008, especially among young voters, has dwindled, said Lindsay Rietkerk, co-founder of Tar Heels for Obama.
“I’ve registered more unaffiliated people this year. More people are waiting to see what Romney says and decide later down the road,” she said.
Austin Gilmore, president of UNC’s Young Democrats, said he expects early voting turnout to exceed 2008 levels.
Compared to a similar time period in 2008, 17 days before the election, about 120,000 more state residents have voted early this year.
Mail-in ballots are uncommon on campus, but early in-person voting has been a focal point among some student political groups.
Tar Heels for Obama has been focused on registering students for early voting because it will help the campaign, Rietkerk said.
UNC students tend to vote early rather than on election day because the on-campus early voting site, Rams Head Dining Hall, is more convenient, Gilmore said.
“If a UNC student hasn’t voted early, they’re not going to vote on Election Day,” he said. “It’s much less of a hassle for students we register to vote early.”
Early voting hasn’t been the focus for UNC’s College Republicans, said Garrett Jacobs, chairman of the group.
“We just want more turnout and to get everyone registered,” he said.
But because of a sputtering economic recovery and stubbornly high unemployment, campus Republican groups across the state are focused on 20- to 30 year-old voters, said Greg Steele, chairman of the N.C. Federation of College Republicans.
“Everybody was excited for Obama in 2008. But you go out now, and you can’t find a job to pay your loans, and the rising price of health care, and you realize that we need change and it’s time for change,” he said.
According to the latest survey by Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning polling firm based in Raleigh, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney leads Obama 49 percent to 47 percent in North Carolina, a virtual tie within the margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Both campaigns are trying to appeal to a small sliver of undecided voters, Greene said, adding that he thinks most voters have already chosen their candidate.
“Anybody participating in early voting has clearly made up their mind already and not many voters at all will be changing their minds in the last couple weeks of the campaign,” he said.

    Early voters could tip scales in NC

    Photo by Cristina Barletta and story by Lucinda Shen for The Daily Tar Heel

    Although election day is 14 days away, the battle to drive North Carolina residents to the polls is already underway for both major political parties.

    After President Barack Obama narrowly won the traditionally Republican-leaning state by about 14,000 votes in 2008, the GOP has pledged to boost turnout this election cycle.

    According to a party memo, Republicans have made seven times more phone calls and 121 times more door knocks in North Carolina than in 2008.

    The efforts have paid off.

    Compared to a similar time period before the 2008 election, more than 45,000 more registered Republicans have voted early this year.

    Republicans have an advantage with mail-in ballots, submitting about 21,000 more than Democrats as of Sunday.

    But Democrats have dominated in-person early voting, outpacing Republicans by more than 100,000 ballots.

    Steven Greene, a political science professor at N.C. State University, said Republicans traditionally push the mail-in ballot, while early in-person voting has historically helped boost the Democratic vote. Although Obama received less votes on election day in 2008, early votes still carried him through.

    Business professionals who travel frequently — and tend to lean Republican — often need to mail in ballots, said Johnnie McLean, deputy director of the N.C. State Board of Elections.

    In-person early voting depends more on campaigns’ get-out-the-vote efforts, Greene said.

    “Early voting creates a potential for the side with more organization on the ground,” he said. “In N.C., that is the Obama campaign.”

    But the enthusiasm that carried Obama to victory in 2008, especially among young voters, has dwindled, said Lindsay Rietkerk, co-founder of Tar Heels for Obama.

    “I’ve registered more unaffiliated people this year. More people are waiting to see what Romney says and decide later down the road,” she said.

    Austin Gilmore, president of UNC’s Young Democrats, said he expects early voting turnout to exceed 2008 levels.

    Compared to a similar time period in 2008, 17 days before the election, about 120,000 more state residents have voted early this year.

    Mail-in ballots are uncommon on campus, but early in-person voting has been a focal point among some student political groups.

    Tar Heels for Obama has been focused on registering students for early voting because it will help the campaign, Rietkerk said.

    UNC students tend to vote early rather than on election day because the on-campus early voting site, Rams Head Dining Hall, is more convenient, Gilmore said.

    “If a UNC student hasn’t voted early, they’re not going to vote on Election Day,” he said. “It’s much less of a hassle for students we register to vote early.”

    Early voting hasn’t been the focus for UNC’s College Republicans, said Garrett Jacobs, chairman of the group.

    “We just want more turnout and to get everyone registered,” he said.

    But because of a sputtering economic recovery and stubbornly high unemployment, campus Republican groups across the state are focused on 20- to 30 year-old voters, said Greg Steele, chairman of the N.C. Federation of College Republicans.

    “Everybody was excited for Obama in 2008. But you go out now, and you can’t find a job to pay your loans, and the rising price of health care, and you realize that we need change and it’s time for change,” he said.

    According to the latest survey by Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning polling firm based in Raleigh, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney leads Obama 49 percent to 47 percent in North Carolina, a virtual tie within the margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

    Both campaigns are trying to appeal to a small sliver of undecided voters, Greene said, adding that he thinks most voters have already chosen their candidate.

    “Anybody participating in early voting has clearly made up their mind already and not many voters at all will be changing their minds in the last couple weeks of the campaign,” he said.

    dailytarheel.com »

  7. Following last week’s debate, President Obama’s campaign has launched a new TV ad that accuses Republican candidate Mitt Romney of being dishonest about his tax plan.

    The  ad, which is titled “Dishonest,” is running in North Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.

    Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign has released a new ad featuring North Carolina woman Melanie McNamara, who owns Absolute Style Furniture in High Point — the place where Romney held his first event with vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

     “In 2008, I voted for Barack Obama,” McNamara says in the ad. “He doesn’t have my vote this time … What I want to think about is a future that has jobs.”

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The 12 is a group Tumblr of The Washington Post and student journalists in 12 battleground states documenting the 2012 presidential election and capturing perspectives of young voters.

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