Early polls already show Donald Trump ahead in one battleground state: New Hampshire. Now, while Fox News reported yesterday that the race in North Carolina was too close to call as yesterday, Quinnipiac University released a poll showing Hillary polling at 47, and Trump 45, a statistical tie.
However! The news is now quickly turning in Trump’s favor.
In North Carolina, Hillary Clinton’s numbers are lagging behind Obama’s 2012 re-election tally, and Donald Trump is outperforming Mitt Romney’s 2012 victory. CNN reports that more than 1.3 million Democrats voted early in North Carolina, compared to 990,000 Republicans. Meanwhile, independent voters casted early votes in droves: 810,000 voted early, a 42 percent increase from 2012.
But Democrats failed to turn out in their 2012 numbers, as CNN shows:
This reflects what many pundits have been gleaning from the massive gap in crowd sizes between the candidates: that while Hillary may poll better, there’s more enthusiastic support behind Trump. While Trump has had twice as many rallies over the past three months, he’s attracted 26 times as many people.
Furthermore, early black voting declined from 27.3 percent in 2012 to 22.2 percent in 2016. The early white vote increased from 67.4 percent in 2012 to 70.7 percent in 2016. Early voting turnout among Democrats ages 22 to 29 dramatically dropped, with one-third who showed up in 2012 failing to cast a ballot.
Hispanic turnout in early voting is up 75 percent since 2012, the North Carolina Board of Elections finds. Since 2012, 50,000 more Hispanics have registered to vote, bringing the Hispanic total to an excess of 165,000 voters. However, they are dwarfed by 1.5 million black voters in the state. Matt Drudge reports Trump is ahead of Romney’s 2012 North Carolina vote count by 142,000 ballots.
“Another dramatic turn of events is being reported out of North Carolina this afternoon: Donald Trump has jumped past all expectations in early voting! In 2012, Romney hit Election Day down 447,000 votes, based on early ballots. He went on to win the state by 97,000 votes,” a newsflash on the Drudge Report reads. “Now, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal, Trump opens Election Day down 305,000!”
Just a month ago, the statistics blog Five Thirty Eight reported that North Carolina was becoming a huge problem for Trump, pointing to one poll showing Hillary ahead by six points. “North Carolina is not a state where you want to be trailing in the polls in October, hoping for a late comeback,” they wrote, “because it typically has high rates of early and absentee voting. In 2012, for example, about 60 percent of ballots in North Carolina were cast before Election Day. Absentee voting is already underway there, while in-person early voting begins on Oct. 20.”
Well, he came back alright.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]