Breaking Down Statewide Races
We know the big news. Republican Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States of America. We also know that he will work with a GOP controlled US House and Senate.
But what do we know about state races and the roll North Carolina played in electing Trump the 45th President of the United States?
MARSHALL TERRY: Tom you’ve been here all night covering the election. So can you tell us who the next governor of North Carolina will be?
TOM BULLOCK: No I can’t. As of right now Democrat Roy Cooper leads Republican Pat McCrory by 5,001 votes. That is out of more than 4.5 million cast Marshall, and those are the ones the state and county boards of election have received. Earlier this morning we talked with Josh Lawson, General Counsel of the North Carolina State Board of Elections. The vote totals so far, Lawson says:
JOSH LAWSON: Does not reflect every single absentee that will trickle in over the next couple of days. Does not reflect provisional ballots that have been cast across the state.
So votes are going to be coming in. And we don’t know just how many. Take absentee ballots, so long as they’re postmarked with yesterday’s date, and make it to the right hands by November 14th, they’ll be counted. And we have no idea how many provisional ballots are out there.
Plus state law allows for a recount if the difference between candidates is .5% or 10,000 votes, whichever is smaller. This race easily meets that criteria. So it’s unlikely we’ll know the winner of the North Carolina Governors race until, at least, a week from now.
TERRY: What about other key state level races?
BULLOCK: Seven of the 10 seats on the Council of State have stayed or gone Republican. These include Lieutenant Governor, Commissioner of Labor, Agriculture. State Treasurer, which is currently held by Democrat Janet Cowell who did not seek re-election has been won by Republican Dale Folwell. When he’s sworn in he’ll be the first republican to hold the post since 1876.
Democrat June Atkinson lost her re-election bid for Superintendent of Public Instruction to Republican Mark Johnson.
Democrat Josh Stein will win the Attorney General’s job but by a razor thin margin. Democrat Elaine Marshall will keep hold of the Secretary of State job. And the race for North Carolina’s Auditor is even closer than the governor’s race. Democratic incumbent Beth Wood leads Republican Chuck Stuber by just 3,101 votes. So we’ll have to wait for a final count on that one as well.
TERRY: There was talk that Republicans could lose their super majority in the general assembly. Did they?
BULLOCK: The Republican supermajorities in both the North Carolina House and Senate remain intact. But they lost two seats in Mecklenburg County. Democrat Mary Belk is up a little over 1%on incumbent Rob Bryan. And Democrat Chaz Beasley won Republican Charles Jeter's seat.
Republican Representative Dan Bishop won Bob Rucho’s state senate seat.
TERRY: So a lot of bad news for Democrats last night. Any other bright spots?
BULLOCK: Liberal justices are now the majority on the State Supreme Court. Superior Court Judge Mike Morgan, a democrat easily defeated Justice Bob Edmunds who is Republican.
TERRY: Lets talk the next President. North Carolina was a must win state for Trump. And he did win, by more than polls were predicting. You’ve been breaking down the numbers, what did you find?
BULLOCK: Trump won North Carolina by roughly 3 and a half points. How he got that margin is key. Exit polls show Trump winning big with white men as expected but also white women. He also won college educated whites. As expected Hillary Clinton won by big margins with minority voters.
But one group that may have really put Trump over the top in North Carolina: independent voters. Those without a party affiliation. Registered unaffiliated are the third largest group of voters in North Carolina and the fastest growing group.
Registered democrats and republicans who voted yesterday did so for their party’s nominee by margins north of 90%. 54% of independents voted for Trump.