One of the key battlegrounds. Obama won in 2008 – becoming the first Democrat to do so since 1976 – but lost in 2012. If Clinton wins these 15 electoral college votes back, it becomes extremely hard to imagine her losing. No Republican has won without NC since 1956.
This is another state where cultural and demographic changes – such as urbanisation and a growing minority population – have altered the electoral maths towards the Democrats’ favour. Early voting has already begun, since when the market has moved towards Clinton.
A couple of issues specific to NC may also help Clinton. Controversy about voter suppression, primarily affecting the substantial black population and other minority voters, has raged ever since 2012 and that could significantly motivate Democrats to register and vote. It almost certainly explains the big rise in early voting, as people rush to avoid the risk of disenfranchisement.
Another divisive issue is the so-called ‘Bathroom Bill‘, that restricted access to public facilities including toilets for transgenders. As a result, corporations, musicians, the NCCA and NBA boycotted the state.