7:30 pm Poll Closing:
From being completely ignored in 2004, North Carolina has moved to ground zero in the 2016 election even while its partisanship shift has been remarkably modest -- from a 55.2% to 44.8% partisan edge for Republicans in 2000 to 54.7%-45.3% in 2004 to 53.2%-46.8% in 2008 to 52.7%-47.3% in 2012. (Partisanship measures what we would project the result would have been if the national popular vote had been tied that year.) But when electoral votes are awarded on a winner-take-all basis, those minor differences can make all the difference between being a backwater and a swing state.
Hillary Clinton has been favored by most analysts to win North Carolina. If she wins the state, that history of minor partisanship shifts would suggest a strong night for her nationally. The Senate race in North Carolina also may help decide which party runs the U.S Senate, with Republican incumbent Richard Burr facing a stiff challenge from Democrat Deborah Ross. The governor’s race is also seen as a tossup -- with the winner sure to work with a Republican-controlled state legislature.
U.S House races in North Carolina could have been shaken up by a new redistricting map, but ultimately with modest impact. Our Monopoly Politics model projects 12 of 13 seat as safe, including nine for Republicans. The 13th seat (CD) leans Republicans, but is not projected as completely safe. https://fairvote.app.box.com/v/MP16-NC-State-Page
In 2004-2012 Ohio was probably the most important “tipping point” swing state, but growing strength for Democrats in Florida and North Carolina has slightly reduced its importance - but only slightly, as it was showered with the fourth most presidential candidate campaign events since the conventions according to FairVote’s daily presidential campaign tracker. Donald Trump is the slight favorite --which is not inconsistent with its 2012 presidential partisanship being 51.3% Republican
Ohio’s Senate race was once seen as competitive, but incumbent Republican Rob Portman is now heavily favored. House races also should say the course. Ohio may be a presidential battleground, but we projected winners in all 16 House races two years ago that locked in a Republican advantage of 12 seats to Democrats’ four. https://fairvote.app.box.com/v/MP16-OH-State-Page
West Virginia was a strongly Democratic state before the 2000 election sent it decisively toward Republicans in presidential races -- such that anything short of Donald Trump winning the two-party vote by 65% to 35% could suggest a tough night for him. But Democrats continue to surprise in state races, and are favored to hold the governor’s election and have an uphill battle to retake the state senate.
All three congressional districts are strongly Republicans, but a relatively poor performance by Alex Mooney in 2014 leads to his district being the one West Virginia district not projected as safe in our Monopoly Politics report. https://fairvote.app.box.com/v/MP16-WV-State-Page