VOTER ENTHUSIASM IN KEY GROUPS CRITICAL TO ELECTION OUTCOME: “Young voters (in North Carolina) are not as much in the numbers as they could be. There’s potential for growth there,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. In those young voters is “potential for an upset,” he said. Younger voters, those with the most at stake in this election when it comes to issues of personal health like abortion, jobs and the economy and education, have not appeared to be as energized to vote as other groups, according to the Marist College poll of North Carolina that came out last week. For candidates in close elections -- like Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd who are running for the U.S. Senate -- that kind of engagement matters. Voters 44 and younger favor Beasley by a 7-point spread. But if they don’t become more motivated to head to the polls, that margin may not mean as much. “When you look at younger voters, Democrats carry Gen-Z and Millennials by 12 points – it’s their best group,” Miringoff said. “But it’s also a group that, although 40% of the adult population, it’s 38% of the registered voters and it falls off to 31% among those who are definitely going to vote.” As the close campaigns around North Carolina reach a conclusion, motivating voters – particularly young voters – may make the margin. I actually voted on a college campus this year (Elon University), and there were no young people in sight at the polling place when I went. No young voters, no young poll workers, no young poll greeters. I hope that was not a sign, but I fear it is.