Polls may lie, but raw data doesn't.
And judging by absentee ballot requests in North Carolina a month from Election Day, the numbers look very good for Democrats—even better than a series of recent surveys showing a slight Hillary Clinton lead (and Governor McCrory getting his ass handed to him). At a minimum, you get the sense that Republicans—who've historically been more likely to vote absentee—aren't all that enthusiastic about this year's campaign.
Given their choices, can you blame them?
Let's dig in: using data from the state Board of Elections, we crunched the numbers from the 2012 election and compared them to what's happening in a state both candidates acknowledge is critical. The number of statewide absentee ballot requests has declined significantly from October 2012—from 107,088 to 92,210, a bad sign for Republicans, considering that, four years ago, absentee voters went 2–1 for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama. Democrats, meanwhile, have seen big gains in the three Triangle counties that are essential to a Clinton victory.
Whether these numbers are harbingers of where the state is headed November 8 or indicative of absolutely nothing remains to be seen.