Exit poll: Lowest Republican turnout in NC since 1984

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016
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ABCNews released preliminary results from exit polls in North Carolina.

Note: These are preliminary exit poll results; they can change, possibly materially, as the evening progresses.

Party ID: Early results show Democrats outnumbering Republicans by 8 points, 38 to 30 percent, compared to a 6-point advantage for Democrats in 2012. If this ratio holds, it would be the lowest turnout among Republicans in exit poll data back to 1984.

HB2: Sixty-six percent of North Carolina voters say they oppose the so-called "bathroom law," and they favored Clinton over Trump by about 2-1. Those who support the law were a strong Trump group.

Fifty-four percent of voters in North Carolina preliminary results are women, and they voted for Clinton over Trump by 13 points. Trump, however, came back with a strong showing among men. The gender gap could be a record.

Obama: The president has a healthy 55 percent job approval rating among voters in North Carolina, a possible boost to Clinton.

An influx of new residents may influence vote choices in North Carolina, as may the large share of the electorate that's nonwhite -- a record 30 percent, including 23 percent blacks, in 2012, when Barack Obama lost the state by 3 points. Nearly half of voters, 49 percent, were not born in North Carolina.

Nonwhites: Thirty percent of voters are nonwhites, with 21 percent blacks, both close to their levels in 2012, 30 and 23 percent, respectively. Nonwhites went for Clinton 80-15, slightly off Barack Obama's 88-12 percent in this group 2012. Again, Trump pushed back with a big advantage among white voters.

Non-college whites: One of Trump's strongest groups, non-college whites, accounted for 37 percent of voters in 2012, more than the share of minorities. Tonight, in North Carolina, early results suggest they may fall short of their 2012 numbers; the current estimate is 32 percent, vs. 38 percent college-educated whites. In both 2012 and 2008, non-college whites outnumbered college-educated whites; that may flip this time. That said, Trump beat Clinton among non-college whites by a wide margin, 67-27 percent.

As in Florida, there have been concerted get-out-the-vote efforts in North Carolina. In preliminary exit poll results, about a third of voters in the state say they personally were contacted by at least one of the campaigns -- 13 percent on behalf of Clinton, 9 percent on behalf of Trump -- and 12 percent by both campaigns, similar to Florida.

Immigration: Thirteen percent of voters in preliminary exit poll results say moved to North Carolina within the past decade. It's a group that made up 19 percent of voters in 2012, and -- unlike natives or longer-term transplants -- tilted toward Barack Obama.

NC Senate exit polls:

Nonwhite voters: As noted, 30 percent of voters in the state in preliminary exit poll results - voted overwhelmingly for Deborah Ross, 79-18 percent. But that was a smaller margin than Kay Hagan's 89 percent in her unsuccessful 2014 run for Senate. Among blacks alone, the margin narrowed from +93 for Hagan to +82 for now for Ross.

18- to 29-year-olds account for 19 percent voters in preliminary results, their highest share in the state since 1996. They strongly favored Ross, 58-36 percent, an improvement for Democrats since 2014 but down from a record high of 71 percent for Hagan in 2008. That's coupled with a decline in the percentage of seniors, from 23 percent in 2012 to 18 percent now, and among whom the vote was nearly the opposite, 40-58 percent.

Those born in North Carolina, a bare majority of voters, favored Burr by 5 points, while the most recent transplants (moved within the last 10 years) split evenly. Among those in the middle, Ross saw a considerable lead.

Read results from additional battleground states here.