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The White House, Senate and Supreme Court Could All Hinge on North Carolina

But other Republican officials believe the political impact of the court battle remains to be seen, and will depend in part on how the two parties handle the process.

For his part, Mr. Cunningham is happy to flay Mr. Tillis, but has little appetite to elevate the national stakes. “I’m aware that the eyes of the world are on us,” he said, before quickly adding, “I’ve got to make it about North Carolina, it is about North Carolina.”

Mr. Cunningham is equally unenthusiastic about hammering Mr. Trump, a recognition that he will share some voters with the president. Asked about the president, Mr. Cunningham deadpanned: “No one is indifferent.”

Notably — and unlike some past candidates in a state that is more amenable to electing Democratic governors than Democratic presidents — he said he would happily appear with Mr. Biden in North Carolina.

That may be because it is not Mr. Biden, or any issue, that is driving the election.

“I’m not getting questions about policy,” said Jeff Jackson, a Democratic state senator who represents a leafy area of suburban Charlotte, recalling his voter conversations. “They ask what party I’m in, then give a long speech about how they don’t consider themselves partisan but this is beyond the pale — and then they do Trump’s greatest hits off the top of their head.”

In Greensboro, Ashton Clemmons, a Democratic lawmaker, said college-educated female voters who were not previously partisan or even very political were fueling her party’s advantage this year.

“Since Donald Trump’s election, I’ve watched so many of those women I grew up with become activists,” Ms. Clemmons said. “Women who grew up in more traditionally Republican families now very vocal are saying: ‘We can’t take this any longer.’”

What may determine the outcome of this election is if the death of Justice Ginsburg, and the battle over who should replace her, persuades more such voters to support Mr. Biden, or to cast a reluctant vote for Mr. Trump.

In Chapel Hill, there are signs that for now, that fight is driving more votes to Mr. Biden, and not just those on the telephone polls.

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