With 1 million ballots already cast, news cycle could impact tight race in NC between Biden, Trump

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The latest CBS 17/Emerson poll shows President Donald Trump and Joe Biden effectively tied as North Carolina hits the 1 million mark for the number of ballots cast.

But, the news cycle moves on, which could have an influence on those who haven’t voted yet.

“I think it’s very fluid. I think it could go either way. I don’t think anyone can predict today what’s going to happen with the presidential race here in North Carolina,” said April Dawson, who is a Professor of Law at North Carolina Central University.

Looking deeper into those numbers, Trump’s supporters are more enthusiastic than Biden’s. About 72 percent deemed themselves “extremely excited” while just over a third of Biden supporters said the same of themselves. There were just a bit more than 30 percent who said they are “very excited” while 18.8 percent were “mildly excited.”

Political experts say there is another important layer to that.

“They may not be all that excited or enthusiastic about Joe Biden. That doesn’t mean they’re unenthusiastic about this election because Donald Trump is rallying both his fervent supporters and and those who are dead set on removing him from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,” said Mitch Kokai with the John Locke Foundation.

Issues from the federal COVID-19 response to the economy to the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice can all convince a voter more than just who a candidate is.

“And this is not surprising that we see this difference. Trump voters tend to be very enthusiastic. They’ve made up their mind. This is their guy,” Dawson said. “There’s less enthusiasm for Biden, but there is a lot of enthusiasm on the part of the democrats, and certainly it’s because of the issue and looking at the nature of government.”

That point is also true for some candidates down the ballot. The race between Sen. Thom Tillis (R) and challenger Cal Cunningham (D) is tightened, according to the poll.

“Among Republicans who have the Supreme Court as one of their top priorities and were a little lukewarm about Thom Tillis, that may have boosted support for him. And he really needs to get as much of that Trump support as possible,” Kokai said.

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