Election Day is less than two weeks away. Voters are already turning out to decide which party will control Congress for the last two years of President Joe Biden’s term. In North Carolina, Republicans are hoping to get a supermajority to be able to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.

More than 650,000 people have already voted early, either by absentee ballot or in person.

The race at the top of the ballot, for North Carolina’s open seat in the United States Senate, is still considered a toss-up. Republican Rep. Ted Budd and Democrat Cheri Beasley, the former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, have been in a tight race for months with no clear front-runner.

What You Need To Know

  • More than 650,000 people have already voted early in North Carolina, according to the State Board of Elections

  • Recent polls suggest the race for Senate in North Carolina is still tight, but Budd may have a lead

  • Voters will also cast ballots for North Carolina's 14 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and for every seat in the state General Assembly

  • Election Day is Nov. 8



Article - Your Voter Guide

Beasley and Budd are tied at 44% among registered voters in the latest Marist College poll released Wednesday. The number of undecided voters is still 10%.

“This does seem like a case where the ‘jury is out,’” said Jay DeDapper, director of strategy and innovation at the Marist Poll. He said they would expect to see one of the candidates getting closed to 50% in their polling by this point in the campaign.

The poll also asked if respondents “definitely planned to vote,” and among those people Budd is up 49%, with 44% saying they would vote for Beasley.

Recent polls from the John Locke Foundation and the Trafalgar Group, both associated with the Republican Party, found Budd up by four points.

Sen. Richard Burr decided not to run for his seat again, which left an open field for Republicans in the primary. Budd, with former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, came out on top.

“Is there the perception that Budd is somehow filling the seat, or filling the shoes of the incumbent?” DeDapper said on a call with reporters Wednesday.

The number of people voting early, either by absentee ballot or in-person, is running ahead of the 2018 midterm election, according to data from the State Board of Elections. The last midterm saw record turnout.

At this point in early voting four years ago, about 560,000 people had cast their ballots in North Carolina. As of Tuesday, more than 666,000 people have voted, on pace to set a new record for a midterm election, according to the Board of Elections.

The Marist poll found that 46% of voters planned to cast their ballots early in North Carolina.

There is some division in North Carolina about what the top issues of the day are. The Marist poll found 38% of adults in the state said inflation was the top issue.

“A majority of Republicans (53%) say inflation is the number-one issue in this year’s election. There is less consensus among Democrats. Preserving democracy (34%) tops the list followed by abortion (24%), and inflation (23%). Ten percent of Democrats mention health care,” Marist said.

“Among independents, 40% cite inflation, and 25% mention preserving democracy. 15% of independents say abortion is the top issue on their minds this election cycle,” according to the poll.

In the last midterms four years ago, more than 3.7 million people voted in North Carolina. There is less than two weeks to go until election day, but with so many undecided voters the candidates still have a lot of work they can do.

Early voting runs until Nov. 5. Election Day is Nov. 8.