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North Carolina's electoral votes in U.S. presidential elections 1792-2016

The U.S. presidential election has been held in North Carolina on 56 occasions; this was every election except the first, in 1789, and the 1864 election, when North Carolina was a member of the Confederate States of America. North Carolina has awarded all (or at least a majority) of its electoral votes to the nationwide winning candidate in 38 elections, giving a success rate of 68 percent. The "Tar Heel State" has voted for the Democratic nominee in thirty elections, and the Republican nominee in 14; although eleven of these have come in the past 13 elections. Despite North Carolina voting red in most elections since 1968, it has often been seen as a battleground state, with the three most recent popular votes split by fewer than four points. Going into the 2020 election, North Carolina is viewed as one of the most difficult-to-predict states, with both major party candidates leading in various polls, with even results in other polls.

North Carolinians in office

Two U.S. presidents were born in North Carolina; the first was James K. Polk, who spent the first seven years of his life in the Waxhaws region, and the second was Andrew Johnson, who was born and raised in Raleigh. Coincidentally, both these men would move to Tennessee, where they would establish political careers before ascending to the presidency. Polk also failed to win the election in his state of birth, while Johnson's election (as Abraham Lincoln's vice presidential nominee) was not contested there.

Electoral votes

Between 1812 and 1840, North Carolina had 15 electoral votes, however this then decreased to just nine votes by the Reconstruction era, as higher net migration rates in other states saw the saw North Carolina's population grow more slowly than the national average. The allocation then rose to 13 votes in the 1930s, and remained at 13 or 14 until 2004, when it then returned to 15. Historically, the majority of North Carolinians have lived in rural areas, although recent decades have seen the population shift to be come more urban or suburban, and grow due to an influx of migrants from Latin America and South or Southeast Asia. In the 2024 election, North Carolina is expected to gain another electoral vote as its population grows faster than the national average, and higher birth rates among urban and foreign-born populations is likely to increase the Democratic Party's voter base in the state.

Number of electoral votes from North Carolina designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1792 to 2016

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Source

Release date

2020

Region

United States (North Carolina)

Survey time period

1792 to 2016

Supplementary notes

*Overall winner.

**One faithless elector cast ballots for the American Independent candidate, George Wallace.

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Statistics on "History of U.S. presidential elections 1789-2016"

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