A little birdie who has done a lot of number crunching tells me that, while the early vote in North Carolina has been substantially blacker than anticipated (39-40% African American), it has also been substantially older than anticipated. Almost two-thirds of early voters are aged 50 or above, while 30 percent are 65+.
I don't quite know what to make of this, nor whom it makes good news for. But what I find interesting is that Barack Obama has done quite well in the two polls that have released cross-tabulations of early voting results. SurveyUSA had him leading by 16 points among people who have already voted, while Public Policy Polling had him leading by 29 points. These are polling results and as such are subject to sample size effects and all the usual caveats.
But one group that has not received a lot of attention in the Democratic primary cycle is seniors. Older voters tend to be driven by policy rather than substance. Is it possible that Clinton, in her effort to recast herself as working class diva rather than policy wonk, has cost herself a few points among this group?