We reported earlier that in the North Carolina presidential race, John McCain would have a very hard time making up the 11,690 votes by which he currently trails Barack Obama as the state sorts through provisional ballots. You can read more at the Raleigh News & Observer's Under the Dome.

In our analysis, we noted that there were more than 77,000 provisional ballots in 2004, but there would probably be less in 2008 thanks to same-day registration at early voting centers, a reform which passed in 2007. It turns out we were right -- there are about 40,000 provisional ballots this year:
State Board of Elections director Gary Bartlett estimated Wednedsay there are about 40,000 provisional ballots, cast by voters whose eligibility to vote must be confirmed.
A percentage of these will end up being rejected, and officials think the remainder could go in roughly the same proportion as the regular votes:
[Bartlett] said history suggests that about 65 percent of those ballots will be eligible and they are likely to break toward the winner in numbers similar to that of Election Day.
All other things being equal, we also noted that provisional ballots also tend to go slightly Democratic.

So what does this mean? If 26,000 provisional ballots are accepted, John McCain would have to win 73% of the remaining provisional ballots to surpass Obama's 11,690 lead in North Carolina -- a very unlikely scenario.

To repeat: Facing South calls North Carolina for Obama. Can I get a CNN hologram now?