October 24th, 2012
05:07 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN shifts North Carolina to 'lean Romney'

(CNN) - Color North Carolina light red.

CNN is moving its classification of the swing state from true "toss up" to "lean Romney."

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Four years ago then Sen. Barack Obama became the first Democrat since 1976 to carry North Carolina in a presidential election. And this summer the Democrats held their nominating convention in Charlotte.

While the Obama campaign continues to run ads in North Carolina, spending just over $1.2 million to run spots over the past week, according to Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks ad spending for CNN, the president hasn't made a campaign stop in the state since his nomination at the Democratic convention in early September.

Last week, in a clear sign it's confident about turning the state from blue to red, Republican nominee Mitt Romney's campaign moved its North Carolina spokesman out of the state and planned to shift more staffers to other states.

This week the Obama campaign denied that they were giving up on North Carolina, saying they have a "credible pathway to 50%" in the state. But some campaign officials privately acknowledge that the state, which Obama can afford to lose, is moving out of reach.

With the shift of North Carolina, CNN now estimates that Romney is leading in states with 206 electoral votes. The shift does not affect CNN's estimate that Obama is leading in states with 237 electoral votes. Two-hundred and seventy electoral votes are needed to win the White House.

CNN is also shifting Indiana and Missouri, two states that are currently "lean Romney," to "safe Romney." Obama carried Indiana four years ago, becoming the first Democrat since 1964 to win the state in a presidential election. And he narrowly lost Missouri to Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee.

But this cycle, the Obama campaign has not seriously contested either state.

The moving of Indiana and Missouri does not affect the electoral count.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • North Carolina
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Four and The Door

    There goes another swing state, Joe. Poof... gone! Nothing worse than an old man lying to babies...

    October 24, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Stoney

    Is joe concerned about being a part of 47% after Nov.6.

    October 24, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. Critical Thinking

    CNN, where have you been on this call. I hope you don't take to Nov. 8th to call this election. Take off the bias color glasses. Romney has FL, VA, and NC. Geez

    October 24, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Phil

    1 down 8 to go. Good for you NC. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me

    October 24, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Very pathetic idiots of north Carolina that lack Education. True. Did they ever hear 47% comment??? Idiots.

    October 24, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Look at the Red South.
    Seems like folks down there like being lied to by a rich white man and they are not too particular if the lie changes from week to week so long as it is being spoken by a rich white man.
    Obama 2012.

    October 24, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. dragonfire77

    Let's be honest here, people, If Romney loses CO, or OH, or FL, or VA it's all over for him. He needs to win all of them to take 270. If Obama wins OH, which appears increasingly likely, you can turn off your TV's and go to bed, as the election will be done.

    October 24, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Frank

    Guys, these are states that was NOT part of the Obama's path to 270 electoral votes. These are states that are usually Republican and have been republican for the past 50 years. Obama won it in 2008 but that was the only exception. This HAS been normally expected. This is NOT something out of the ordinary and something that Obama was fighting for.

    Now Ohio for example, that state is the key state that BOTH need. If Obama had florida, he would NOT need Ohio. However, Romney without Ohio, cannot win. So it's safer to win Ohio because it takes the presidency away from Romney no matter what happens. Unless theres a miracle. Without Ohio Romney just cannot win. So Obama needs to block that, and he will get another 4 years.

    October 24, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Robert Delrie

    I can't wait until the welfare checks stop getting mailed.... then the people will finially get a wake up call to how bad it really is

    October 24, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. Patrick

    MEANWHILE..NC a GOP state turns red. WOW. Obama plus 5 in OHIO latest polling. Winning WI, NV plus 4 today, IA... Romney is done.

    October 24, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. Milton K. Wiah

    Let the CNN leave this red or blue safe thing. People should vote.

    October 24, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. angryed

    Obama has a huge problem that Romney doesnt......his record as President for the last 4 years....who in their right mind would want 4 more years of what we have seen from Obama....Romney is no gem...but he will have to do...hope he is up to the challenge

    October 24, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. ClayinNC

    Silly CNN... Romney is getting trounced in early voting. You're in for a surprise when Obama carries the state two elections in a row. NC is not in the dark ages anymore.

    October 24, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Milton K. Wiah

    Other news outlet put Nevada for Obama but CNN keep it toss up.

    October 24, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. plang44

    that map looks awfully red :)

    October 24, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Look at the Red South.
    Seems like folks down there like being lied to by a rich white man and they are not too particular if the lie changes from week to week so long as it is being spoken by a rich white man.
    Obama 2012.
    ---------

    Amen.

    October 24, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    Frank
    Guys, these are states that was NOT part of the Obama's path to 270 electoral votes.
    _________________________________________________________________________
    Not anymore.

    October 24, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. anoel2005

    that pro-Gay marriage issue made Obama a loser in N.Carolina.

    October 24, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. edog

    Four and The Door

    There goes another swing state, Joe. Poof... gone! Nothing worse than an old man lying to babies...
    ---------------–

    Wow! When republicans are talking like North Carolina is a SWING state, you know things are changing. North Carolina has always been a RED state and always will be, with exceptions once in a blue moon. Obama 2008 won by a tiny margin and that was a change election...

    Keep North Carolina and we will take Ohio and Iowa!

    October 24, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. JustFactsPlease

    Romney will win every "battle ground" state with the possible exception of Nevada (but Romney has a great shot at winning PA).

    October 24, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Mark

    I am not Democrat or Republican. I can't believe that anyone would vote for a party that thinks its Gods will for someone to get raped! What would their response be if their wife or daughter was raped? Would they say Well honey I am sorry, but that is Gods will! How can u vote for someone that calls everyone lazy and a sponge sucker? How can you vote for someone that stutters and has no clue what is going on during the debates? How can you vote for someone that has no plan, but says my plan will work? How can you vote for someone that every word that is spoken is a lie! I can't believe that there are that many states that are gone red?... I am ashamed of the republican party.

    October 24, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. Alfredo

    Might want to move Ohio to leans Obama... has been ahead in the polls since the start of election and even after the first debate. Now he has a 50-45 lead which is outside the margin of error... but to do so would be to admit that the election would not be as interesting.

    October 24, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. Mark

    I am also ashamed of America

    October 24, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. myviewis

    North Carolinians are definitely being smarter than Ohioans who are still leaning towards Obama because their unemployment is lower than the rest of the country ( so they think)

    October 24, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. anne

    If Mitt gets in office he said it would take eight years for recovery.Since that is a historical fact why do people want it done in four,sounds like different rules.I cannot wait four more years so please for the working poor that cannot get insurance give Obama"s policies time to work.Clintons did remember.

    October 24, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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