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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

More NC Clues

This morning, my mom drove out to our rural precinct location on her way to work. She collected her ballot at 7:00, filled it out, and fed it through the voting machine. The polls had opened just 30 minutes before, and there wasn’t a line, but more than 300 people had already voted.
I’m hearing a lot of similar stories when I talk to friends in North Carolina, and the same message is coming from election officials in the state. All the signs indicate that we’re in for a day of record turnout.
That’s unsurprising.
But it means we’re going to be left with some serious questions when the polls close at 7:30 tonight. How long is it going to take for results to be calculated? What are the exit polls going to tell us?
There was a staff post earlier today which linked to a story in The Politico outlining some good places to look for answers. Much of that analysis was really sound, and I’d only add a couple things.
Clinton should do best in the western part of the state, and if election returns come back similarly to how they did in Virginia, that area should report first. Can she build up a lead there that is big enough to cut into Obama’s advantages elsewhere? I’ll be watching the totals in Buncombe county to get an idea for how Clinton should do in the Appalachians.
To get a measure of Obama’s performance, I plan to be watching the vote totals in Durham and Mecklenburg counties, where there is a big African American population and a lot of college educated voters. If turnout in those two counties is in the hundreds of thousands, he’s in for a good night.
One last thing — the State Board of Elections has just upgraded the results page for its website. It’s pretty snazzy.

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