The crowd at this year’s Mountain Moral Monday may have been smaller than in recent years. But it was no less enthusiastic.
In between the music and poetry readings was the main attraction – a keynote speech from Reverend Dr. William J Barber II, president of North Carolina’s NAACP. While he touched on many topics in his more than half hour address, Barber’s call to action, repeated several times, was just four words long.
“We better vote. Now.”
Early voting started last week in North Carolina, and Buncombe County’s turnout thus far is above the state average. As of late Monday morning, more than 20-thousand people in the county have already voted. A look at those numbers show more Democrats have voted than Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents combined.
The latest statewide poll though isn’t as upbeat for Democrats looking to sweep the state’s three largest races. Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump by just a single percentage point in the Monmouth University poll. Republican incumbent Richard Burr tops Democrat Deborah Ross in the U.S. Senate election 49 to 43 percent. The biggest change since the last Monmouth poll two months ago is in the governor’s race. Incumbent Republican Pat McCrory now leads Democrat Roy Cooper 48 to 47 percent. In August, Cooper lead by 9 percent. The reason for the swing isn’t clear according to Monmouth’s polling director Patrick Murray. He says it may have to do with concerns over flooding following Hurricane Matthew, which devastated the eastern part of North Carolina. Cooper’s lead in August according to Murray was due in large part to backlash over North Carolina’s House Bill Two. The most current poll, conducted from last Thursday to Monday, has a margin of error of +_ 4.9 percent.
Monmouth Poll Numbers - (margin of error + or - 4.9%)
Donald Trump (R) 46%
Hillary Clinton (D) 47%
Gary Johnson (L) 4%
North Carolina U.S. Senate Election
Richard Burr (R) 49%
Deborah Ross (D) 43%
Sean Haugh (L) 2%
North Carolina Gubernatorial Election
Pat McCrory (R) 48%
Roy Cooper (D) 47%
Lon Cecil (L) 2%