Election Day is one week away, and so far, turnout is high. We’re about a week ahead of the state’s count in 2016.
As of Monday morning, 3.17 million people have cast votes in North Carolina either through the mail or in person. That number eclipses the 3.10 million who voted early in all of 2016. The state is on track to surpass the total votes cast in 2016 beforewe even reach Election Day, assuming an average of 240,000 voters continue casting ballots per day.
What any of that means, though, is up for debate.
Turnout is high in part because of the high rate of mail-in voting this election due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
But what matters most to each campaign is who’s voting and where votes are being cast. In order to win the presidency, Democrats are looking for high-turnout among Black voters in Charlotte neighborhoods such as Washington Heights. Republicans are looking to keep their foothold in suburban areas like Mint Hill.
In the past 13 presidential elections — dating back to the 1968 Nixon victory — North Carolina has gone Republican 11 times. The only two Democrats to take the state were Barack Obama in 2008 and Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Mecklenburg County, though, has been veering more and more blue for the past 20 or so years.
The raw numbers are staggering in many ways. For a glimpse of just how much has changed in just Charlotte over the past two decades, consider this stat: The last time Mecklenburg County favored a Republican presidential candidate was George W. Bush in 2000. That year, 262,000-plus people cast ballots in Mecklenburg; already in 2020, more than 350,000 people have voted here.
Here’s a look at how Mecklenburg County has voted in the past seven elections — and a peek at how we’re looking in 2020.