(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.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
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.
So far, I'd bet on this...
Michigan will go Obama, as will every North Coast State other than Indiana, which is certain to vote Romney. The hillbillies and fringe dozy suburbanites are republicans in these States, but they are outnumbered. I'd also bet on Colorado, Virginia, Nevada going Obama as well, and of course all the usual others (northern half of the east coast, west coast, new mexico). Iowa is uncertain.
NC will go Romney, as will the usual red States. Florida....probably Romney. Iowa is uncertain, and could go either way.
Obama wins the 270 required electoral votes anywhere from the low 270's to 300.
If a CNN/Time poll is showing NC tied up than its still safe for Gov Romney. Obama doesn't have a snowball's chance in He– of taking NC this year, but I'm sure that the Obama campaign appreciates the support from CNN. And by the way a poll just yesterday shows MI now tied up, but of course CNN still has it as lean Obama, and the most recent poll for Ohio shows that Obama has lost his lead and that state is tied up. Gallup and ABC/WP today showed Romney ahead in their nation wide polls by 1 point, and the battleground states are almost all moving toward Gov Romney.
Come on people... With just a tight race like this one, a few Diebold machines with the flip of the switch, a little voter suppression, a few winks from the GOP (very) secretary of state and Romney and Ryan are going to smile all the way to the the president inauguration ball... just sit this one out, just like 2010 when the Teabagers strolled into the house of congress, make them easy on those hard working, boot licking, puppet dancing dunces by our finest lobbyists in the world.
Enjoy the show on your favorite cable network!
Obama landslides ...I'm thinking he may carry all the key battleground states now.
if this fool (Romney/Ryan) gets in the white house,i would not put it past him to be so delusional to pull a stunt like this... cut/paste The director of issues analysis at the anti-LGBT rights group American Family Association (AFA) is proposing that the government pass a law requiring that every American go to church or pay a tax penalty.
During his Thursday Focal Point radio program, Bryan Fischer backed a listener’s proposal to have an “individual mandate from the government that everybody has to go to church.”
“Because after all, Obamacare is all about improving the health of the American people,” the radio host explained. “We know that going to church is good for you, it’s good for your health. So we are going to mandate that you go to church for your own health and we are going to tax the atheists who don’t go to church.”
“Now we can’t make you go to church, but we are going to penalize you if you don’t,” Fischer continued. “We are going to assess a tax on every atheist who doesn’t go to church because those atheists are endangering their physical health.”
where do these nut-jobs come from?
Just what we need... another nut in the white house.. look what happened last time,,,
Think about this,
The Whites vote for issues
The Blacks vote for Skin
Why go through the election joke when it looks like everything has already been decided on according to the map.
North Carolina: Romney's next money pit.
Everyone will see what negative and backward platform the Republican party has.
Republican ideals = To hell with the poor, Selfish is good, Greed is good and above all the uterus is to be controlled.
Ron Paul 2012
That right there is the only reason Obama suddenly claimed to support gay marriage AFTER the vote on whether it should be banned in that state.
So good to see this! We need to be questioning romney's intentions–he changes his stances
depending on what audience he is in front of. Ryan knows where he stands but it's a scary
place to be for the rest of us!
Romney in a landslide....it's the economy stupid. Redistribute wealth...well earn it like I did...work for it like I did. Share it with those who deserve it..like I did.
Romney is going to be in DEEP trouble if he is unable to sweep Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. The fact that he's being forced to spend time and resources there will open up more opportunities for Obama in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada, and Colorado.
North Carolina is lean Romney and will remain a Romney state; Rasmussen still maintains NC as a lean Romney state and they are the most accurate pollster. North Carolina will be an important part of the winning Romney coilition to restore this nation.
How about including a legend on your map. A description of each color is not provided.
you are good little Democrat-Republican sheep rooting for your team and hating the other guy
This is great news for John McCain!
Fellow North Carolinians, let us not forget the fiasco that people like Paul Ryan dragged our country through last summer with their single minded stance that they get there way or they would let the country default on it's debt. Ryan himself was quoted as saying that he did not think a short term default would be all that bad. Yet just on the closeness of the debate, our debt has been downgraded and our credit is now tarnished. These people are not quality leaders. They will say whatever they want and then apologize for inaccuracies later. Or they will out right lie. Even if the Romney/Ryan plan were workable, would you really want people who bend the truth to their liking running this country?
I am waiting on full blown socialism! Go U.S.!
North Carolinians are waking up to what the GOP plans to do: more tax cuts for the wealthy paid for by gutting Medicare and Social Security.
One of the reasons NC went democrat in the last election is that in addition to not wanting any more of a republican president, they also no longer wanted a republican senator (Elizabeth Dole). And they also elected a democratic governor – a democratic trifecta.
"Romney doing a better job on medicare"? Really? The ticket's stated plan is to do away with Medicare and give everyone a $6,000 voucher instead. Know how long $6,000 will last if you go into a hospital for something?
Republicans only carry the southern states because of social conservatism (abortion, gay marriage, etc.). Most "Republicans" in the south are not fiscal conservatives – they get government aid, social security, unemployment benefits, etc. and they don't want it to stop.
Lots of 'red states' get more federal dollars than they contribute – like Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, Idaho, Wyoming, etc. . So if Romney wants to fight only on fiscal issues, I see more people in southern states voting Democrat, not Republican.