North Carolina, won by Romney in 2012, is a must-win for Trump to get to 270
WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven weeks before Election Day, the earliest numbers from advance voting for president show initial strength for Hillary Clinton in swing state North Carolina, good news for Donald Trump in battleground Iowa and a record number of requests for ballots in Ohio.
In North Carolina, a must-win state for Trump, more than 53,000 voters had requested ballots, and 2,939 had been returned, according to data compiled by The Associated Press. That's up from 47,313 ballots requested during a similar time frame in 2012.
Broken down by party, Democrats made up 40 percent of the ballots returned so far compared to 33 percent for Republicans. At this point in 2012, Republicans were running slightly ahead, 43 percent to 38 percent, in ballots submitted. Republican Mitt Romney narrowly won the state that year and it's difficult to see how Trump could accumulate the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the White House without winning North Carolina.
Clinton has sought to energize state Democrats by pointing to a voter ID law passed by a Republican-led legislature that was later struck down by a federal court as racially discriminatory. On Tuesday, the campaign also announced a new radio ad in North Carolina and other battlegrounds aimed at African-American young adults.