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North Carolina Sees Record Voter Turnout And Unclear Results So Far

A group of people in yellow shirts, standing on both sides of a sidewalk. There is one person looking directly at the camera, appears to be a white man, smiling and holding a travel cup
Peyton Sickles/WUNC
Bruno Pavone, 57, a member of CWA (Communication Workers of America) local 3611 out of Raleigh, volunteers alongside several others as part of 'Election Defenders'.

Republicans outperformed polls in North Carolina and much of the nation in last night’s general election. But many results are still unclear and likely will be for days. The presidential and U.S. Senate races in North Carolina are still too close to call, and there are also 117,000 outstanding mail-in ballots that could impact the state’s results. 

We had a million absentee-by-mail ballots. Joe Biden won them 67 to 31. When you look at Election Day, we had nearly 900,000, and Donald Trump won 65 to 33. It's almost a mirror image of that voting pattern. - Michael Bitzer

We do know some winners so far: Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper won his re-election bid. Republican Mark Robinson will be our next lieutenant governor. And both chambers of the North Carolina legislature will remain under Republican control.

I'm really concerned about some of the divisiveness as we look in the exit polls, because it shows a starkly divided North Carolina when it comes to values and when it comes to the chief issues. - Susan Roberts


Host Frank Stasio gets on-the-ground reports about how Election Day went in the state from several reporters: WUNC Capitol Bureau Chief Jeff Tiberii in Raleigh, WECT investigative reporter Emily Featherston in Wilmington, BPR News Director Matt Bush in Asheville and WUNC politics reporter Rusty Jacobs in Chapel Hill.

Demographics are not destiny. But demographics can be an advantage if you work to get the vote out. ... And you see that coming to fruition in Georgia, Texas, Arizona and Colorado. - Kerry Haynie

Then, Stasio gets analysis and reaction from a panel of political scientists from around the state: Michael Bitzer is a professor of politics and history at Catawba College. Deondra Rose is an assistant professor of public policy and political science and the director of research at Polis: Center for Politics at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Susan Roberts is a professor of political science at Davidson College. And Kerry Haynie is an associate professor of political science and African and African American studies at Duke University.

In terms of shaping the campaign strategy, in terms of shaping young people's activation and the fact that they're really paying attention to politics in a way that we haven't seen, possibly since 2008 among the youngest voters — a lot of that has been catalyzed by COVID. - Deondra Rose

Amanda Magnus is the editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She's also the lead producer for on-demand content at WUNC and has worked on "Tested" and "CREEP."
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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