(CNN) – CNN Monday turned the important battleground state of North Carolina from "lean Romney" to true "toss up" on its Electoral Map, following the release of a new CNN/Time Magazine/ORC International poll that indicated the race for the state's 15 electoral votes was a dead heat.
The move by CNN comes one week before the Democratic convention kicks off in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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The poll, released earlier on Monday, indicates it's all knotted up in the Tar Heel state, with 48% of likely voters supporting Republican challenger Mitt Romney and 47% backing President Barack Obama.
Other polls from other organizations conducted earlier this summer also indicated a close contest in North Carolina.
"It's hard to imagine the perfect storm that helped then Sen. Obama narrowly carry the state in 2008. But at the moment the polling shows a tossup, and both campaigns say their numbers are in the same ballpark as our survey," says CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "That, plus all the attention Democrats are about to give the state, gives us ample reason to move North Carolina to tossup."
"It's a must win for Romney, and even top Obama aides privately say it is a lot harder to see it going blue this time. But Romney can't take it for granted and the poll backs up what we see in the recent ad wars in North Carolina: It's a tight battleground," adds King.
Obama was the first Democrat to carry the state in a presidential election since 1976.
North Carolina now becomes the ninth state CNN considers a true toss up, joining Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. CNN considers Michigan, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania as states that lean towards Obama, with Arizona, Indiana, and Missouri as states that lean towards Romney.
With North Carolina's move to true "toss up," the CNN Electoral Map now suggests Obama leading in states with a combined 237 electoral votes, Romney ahead in states with a combined 191 electoral votes, and states with 110 electoral votes are up for grabs. Two-hundred and seventy electoral votes are needed with win the White House.
– CNN's Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
This change in NC poll status is not surprising. North Carolina is a right to work state and uncomfortable with gay marriage. For the average North Carolinian, Obama and the democrats stink on both issues.
Was it registered voters or likely voters? Was the D+? 10? 15? How are the big news orgs going to explain the vote when it comes out that the actual vote is D+1 or 2 like it was in 2010?
You can fool most of the people some of the time, well you know how this goes. Obama is the worst thing that has ever happen to america. He came in after a bad situation and made it MUCH worse. One of the first things he did was to try to give everyone free healhcare. NOBODY has a job Mr. president. HELLO !!!! I think any intelligent person would want to fix our job market first, Unless you want free stuff. If you work for a living, vote for someone that will help WORKING people. Dead beat lazy people are killing our country.
No Toss Ups Electoral College: Obama 347 Romney 191 ouch
Stop with the color coded maps already. I am sick of the media trying to predict votes based on exit polls. What exit polls, anyone voting yet? Where so they get these numbers? It all seems totally random and could have a negative effect. People might stay home instead of voting, people might vote what they think the majority wants and so on.
Last I checked the media's job was to REPORT, not predict, guess or wonder!!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg will dress up in her finest black.
It's saddening to see after spending hundreds of millions in lies turn out to be the "fact". No wonder education always be the first target for Republicans. To those who going to vote for Romney:
Romney will not make any miracle in the economy or employment, when he was the governor in MA, he basically cut a lot of funds in schools and other social programs,and told everyone to scarify of it. Do you remember the big dig? He did nothing to curb the costs or investigate the corruption, just simply stated that he inherited the problem, there had nothing he could do. But he spent tremendous of times bullying and forcing William Bulger,Whitney Bulger's brother, to resign from his position of the principal of UMass.
Good news for this site since they wouldn't want to be wrong on their hope that the president gets another term.
Regardless, the winning side will be claiming "mandate."
North Carolina will not make the same mistake twice.
I don't see how AZ isn't red. McCain is entrenched there as well as the govenor.
Funny how the Dems are so much more optimistic and their messages are not rants, the Repubs, just the opposite, lol.
Great people of North Carolina! Fulfill your duty to get a human being back into the White House once again!
No more kenyan muslim naggers!
He who has to "buy" a race, should not be President. He made over twenty million of "unearned" income last year, what's his real motivation? He doesn't care about people, it's all about the money.
If Nun was running, she'd win by a landslide. Nun of the above.
Good news!! I live in NC and am voting for Obama. I have been seeing a lot of Obama signs and bumpers stickers . . .
What a surprise, all the rich states are blue and all the poor states are red... hrmmmm
It is so sad that in this country we call it a womans "right to choose" instead of calling it what it is....murder of an innocent child. And then to think the government should pay for it. What have we really become?
How can anyone believe the "war on women?" If you follow a religious belief that abortion is killing, then you are waging a war against women? C'mon. I don't believe in ANY religion, and i don't think Romney is right on that topic, but the realistic news is that Romney will get us on the right track. I too once believed that Obama could make some good changes, but he failed most of us. Romney will not have a slam dunk first term like Obama had if he's elected. He'll have to work with both parties to achieve anything. Obama refused to cave on anything, which is why we are in the state of misery that we're in.
How could any woman, or any person who RESPECTS women, vote for Romney or ANY OTHER GOP candidate?? I mean....really??? The GOP has permanently lost the women's vote – and a good portion of decent men who respect a woman's right to her own body!!
Maybe you did not see the Anderson Cooper that took the DNC to school over their lies.
All I know is the people I know who voted for Obama now some are voting for Romney of the people who voted for Mccain none are voting for Obama.
The media is working to make is seem the election is closer than it really is? Are you kidding? What world are you living in?The media is JUST FINALLY starting report fairly on Obama's record. The media is slanted left and always has been. And for the people trying to speak for all women on here regarding the GOP, how about you let individual women make up their own minds' on the candidates instead of criticizing any female who might disagree with you. Or, you can continue to be single issue voters and try to co-opt the entire political dialogue. Sorry to break it to you, but abortion and contraception, while emotive, are not any where near the most important issues this upcoming election, nor should they be.