North Carolina's Democratic primaries Tuesday witnessed few surprises — early polls perfectly predicted the night's victors. The following is a breakdown of each major race as of 12:30 a.m. March 16, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
Hillary Clinton had a lot working in her favor to secure a victory in the N.C. Democratic primary elections against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
She enjoyed a comfortable lead over Sanders with 54.58 percent of the vote with 99 percent of precincts reporting — translating into 56 delegates. Sanders, by contrast, won 40.74 percent of the vote and 26 delegates.
She has familiarity with pertinent issues in the South, which Ferrel Guillory, director of the Program on Public Life at UNC-Chapel Hill, said helps her resonate more with Southern voters.
And Steven Greene, professor of political science at N.C. State University, said he predicted the demographics of the N.C. electorate would give Clinton an edge.
“In states where African-American voters are a large portion of the electorate, she does really well,” Greene said. “This is very similar to other states she won by large margins, and I don’t see any reason that shouldn’t happen here.”
But nothing is telling for the November general election as of yet, and Guillory said North Carolina is particularly difficult to predict. The state has many unaffiliated registered voters, yet they end up dividing themselves almost evenly between Democratic and Republican candidates, he said.
“What we have learned about North Carolina over the past several elections is this is a state that is narrowly divided,” Guillory said.