In my beloved state of North Carolina, counting up Republican and Democrat votes and applying them to the presidential race is tricky. We have a lot of conservative Democrats here who are registered as such, but that doesn’t mean they vote for Democrats, especially in national elections. Locally, our Democrats tend to be a lot more conservative than the Democrat nominee for president, which is why, in 2008, Obama won North Carolina by a much smaller margin than his national margin.
In ’08, Obama won North Carolina by exactly 14,177 votes.
As of right now, when compared to 2008, Republican early vote totals are up over 42,000 more than they were in ’08:
The GOP has a net advantage of more than 42,000 votes over Democrats compared to last time around, and Mitt Romney spokeswoman Rachel Adams points out that would more than erase the 14,177-vote victory by Obama last time around.
Adams said the ground they’ve already gained and a trend from the last presidential election gives reason to believe North Carolina will turn red. Last time, Democratic turnout steadily dropped off as the early voting period wore on, while Republicans gained steam. That has happened again at a relatively similar rate.
In total early voting numbers, Democrats are beating Republicans by large numbers. As of right now, the hard data shows that, of the 1.5 million ballots received, 50% came from Democrats, 31% from Republicans, and the remaining from unaffiliated voters. That looks like a blowout in favor of Obama, but it’s not — for all the reasons listed above.
And with Republican early voters already wiping out Obama’s 2008 lead in a year in which the president is almost certain to attract fewer voters everywhere, North Carolina is looking like it’s well on its way to turning back to its natural shade of red.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC