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Record NC Turnout In Midterm Would Be Abysmal In Presidential Election

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North Carolina had a record-setting turnout this year for a midterm election: 2.9 million people voted.

Here's some context: to find a presidential election where fewer than 3 million people voted in North Carolina, you have to go back to 1996.

That tells you how big of a difference there is between presidential and midterm elections. A number that's record-setting in the 2014 midterm would've been tragic in the 2012 presidential election.

Turnout is always way lower when the presidency isn't up for grabs. Since 2008, the result in North Carolina has been an electorate that grows or shrinks by about 1.6 million people depending on whether a president is on the ballot.