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The Party Line is dedicated to examining regional issues and policies through the figures who give shape to them. These are critical, complex, and even downright confusing times we live in. There’s a lot to navigate nationally and in the Carolinas; whether it’s elections, debates on gay marriage, public school closings, or tax incentives for economic development. The Party Line’s goal is to offer a provocative, intelligent look at the issues and players behind the action; a view that ultimately offers the necessary insight for Carolina voters to hold public servants more accountable.

Cooper's Lead Over McCrory Nears 10,000, With 86 Counties In

North Carolina's governor's race is still up in the air, but the lead is widening for Democrat Roy Cooper.

Local boards of election have now certified results of the Nov. 8 election in 86 of North Carolina's 100 counties.  As of 4 p.m. Monday, Cooper led incumbent Pat McCrory by 9,558 votes, according to the state Board of Elections website.  [UPDATE: As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, with 91 counties in, Cooper's lead was 9,764.]

That's approaching the 10,000 vote mark,  the level at which Council of State candidates can demand recounts. 

It's less than two tenths of one percent out of 4.7 million votes cast. And it's up from the nearly 5,000 vote lead Cooper had right after the election.

On Monday, votes still weren't  final in some large urban counties including Durham, Wake, Buncombe and Forsyth, as well as some rural counties.  

Republicans have filed protests in 52 counties, including Durham, where more than 90,000 early votes weren't added to the totals until late on election night. Over the weekend, the McCrory campaign issued a statement saying if the initial Durham count is confirmed through a recount, the campaign will drop its call for a statewide recount.   

McCrory campaign manager Russell Peck said in a news release that a Durham recount would allow everyone to "move towards a conclusion of this process."

The N.C. State Board of Elections on Sunday postponed action on a Republican request to force a recount of Durham County's early votes. Durham's Republican-controlled local elections board has rejected a protest over those ballots.

State elections board attorney Josh Lawson said he can’t predict when the governor’s race will be settled.


See election results on the state Board of Elections website, NCSBE.gov (map) or table with vote totals

Tune in for Charlotte Talks Tuesday at 9 a.m., where part of the program will focus on the governor's race