(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.
Democratic women are going to make the difference in this state. Paul Ryan and Todd Akin aren't helping Romney's cause. We're fired up and ready to go!
We are REP all the way Obama will lose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We wont be fooled again.
Virginia, I could see. North Carolina, no.
matt: the move of Wisconsin was big news - it was just eclipsed by the selection of Ryan. Do you really think Wisconsin's move is more interesting than who Romney picked as his VP running mate?
We did it in 2008 – let's do it again!!
CNN, how about a little exercise to bring some insight into the colors on the map. Let's paint the states with above nation-average percentage of college graduates blue and below average -red. Will the map look the same as Obama-Romney one?
Boy Republicans sure do whine about CNN and yet they still come here.
Wait for the election haters! Lol! I am not even watching the polls, I am just voting in November!
The easiest way to rig an election is not to win 99% of the vote, but 50.1% of the vote. Any suspicions are easy to deny when it's a close race. In the end, the people still do not decide who wins the Presidency, the corporations do.
Matt...do you live here? Probably not. The poll is right. I know you want to think it's "liberal bias" b/c you happen to hate Pres. Obama, but....sorry.
I live in North Carolina and know the truth. DON'T BELIEVE THIS LIBERAL BIAS CNN! Simply not true. North Carolina will be red in November, I assure you we will vote for soon to be President Romney! Unbelievable crowds and excitement for Mitt! :)
Really, the people calling this a liberal poll.... You guys are full of it. So I guess any facts that come out on any other news site than Fox has to have a liberal bias ?? Give me a break, the truth is that most of the country is not living in some bubble where things have to be liberal or conservative. Most of us have common sense which means when a main line party included issues in their party platform of denying an abortion to a woman that has been raped, or denying a woman an opportunity to have a baby using in-vitro fertilization or denying a group basic civil rights, well than guess what, Most of the country will turn against you. The republican party has become a party of hate and bigotry and has gone so far right even states that have been solid red will turn blue. (Keep living in your fantasy world tho where all facts if they are not right leaning have to be because of the Liberal media) ...
This poll is nonsense. Look at the internals Of the North Carolina poll. Romney is attracting more party support than Obama does and Romney is winning Independents by 13. Yet somehow they claim Romney is only up by 1. Florida is the same way. They both enjoy the same party support and Obama is up 1 among independents. So the true numbers are something like Romney 51 Obama 46 in NC and Romney 47 Obama 47.1 in Florida.
Why was Ohio marked for Obama? Ohio is a swing state!
It doesn't matter who is president. Either person will just sell out in their own unique way.
Linus Torvalds for president!
The poll isn't "right". It leaves out the fact that today Michigan is polling as a tie which would put it in the toss up category. How can a news organization choose to report only part of the facts and then claim it is a reliable, trustworthy place for news?
Why does not this liberal rag not report that Michigan is now a toss up which was leaning Obama, Wisconsin is now tied and a toss up which was leaning Obama, Ohio is now tied at 45% each when last week Obama was up by 5. Why does it not post that Romney lead by 1 in the Gallup poll general election?
still looks like Obamba will not be an effective leader if reelected.. a sitting president should not have this trouble.. let alone the first black president.. he is not a coalition builder... no bill clinton on the horizon
CNN poll? Who did they poll? How many of each? What age? What color? What area of NC?
Don't get excited about this. It's not that much of a change and it can easily change again.
Obama takes Florida and New Hampshire its game over for Romney.
I doubt at this point that Romney could take the rest of the swing states.
He would need all of them.
Not going to happen.
Ohio and Pennsylvania also leaning Obama.
There is no bias in reporting that a poll has moved slightly in Obama's favor. The bias in in declaring it "breaking news" or not even reporting when polls go in the other direction.
Also, this is not a poll of registered voters. Another example of how CNN adds a little liberal spin to the headlines.
As usual the right wingers will deny it just like the did in 2008 and on election day they will be shocked once again to find out that people really don't like Romney ! I'm and independent by nature but if I have to choose between the two , then President Obama has my vote because he simply has more of my interests at heart ! Romney is just a guy running so it can be something else he can cross off his bucket list ! Romney would be another Bush Jr. and I'm not ready to give republicans another chance at driving us into another recession !
LOL at this being breaking news, liberal bias anyone.
Its only liberal bias when you dont like the results.