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. fromNC

    Unfortunately, there's a lot of religiously motivated people here in NC that will vote republican by default. Couple that with the sheer number of people that want Obama out of office purely because he's black, and you're left with...well...that. The political mind here is moving in a backward momentum.

    October 25, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  2. my

    They will say all these for next two weeks.. On the evening of the election day, they will have a panel of "analyst" explaining why things changed back to blue in the last week..Analysts = Con Artists..

    October 25, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  3. Joe

    I understand nor do I care for any "network polls"...we all have something tangible to look at now...EARLY VOTING RESULTS!!!....If any1 cares to look....go on google and look at NCarolina early voting...Democrats are out pacing republicans 2-1 on mail in ballots and walk in voting centers..You could do the same for Nevada, and this weekend it will be Florida....All this stuff about poll projections is purely speculation and nonsense. Im a black republican out of the midwest who hopes all these polling firms will be held accountable after Nov.6th....Ridiculous

    October 25, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  4. don

    Romney is still learning Mitt. He changes so much, he has to be confused, too. LOL. What a joke this guy is.

    October 25, 2012 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  5. Yram59

    Romney & the gop needs to stop wasting thier time getting my vote i have already voted for obama by mail.I hope everyone does.

    October 25, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  6. runnergal

    Is CNN running out of things to say? I've stopped watching your program quite awhile ago. Obama just went ahead in the polls. Maybe you're becoming right wing....ugh

    October 25, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  7. joe

    The founders were just as split as we are. America has always been divided in politics. NC isnt a huge deal I doubt anyone really thought Obama would win. Obama needs to win the toss up Midwest states, Romney needs VA FL OH. That's where this election will be won.

    October 25, 2012 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  8. T.O.

    The south is not any more racial than any other place in America. We are a proud group of people that don't like to be dictated to, and so usually vote more conservatively.

    October 25, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  9. Clint's Fan

    Hope Clint's message wakes up the people.

    October 25, 2012 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  10. Dan

    "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." – Alfredo

    What I find interesting is you implying that the election commission in Ohio is corrupt. Remember, the states cannot release numbers until after the polls close on election day.

    So, where did you get your "information"?

    October 25, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    Hi CNN these changes make it look more like an Obama electoral college win. All he needs are Wisconsin Iowa and Ohio and thats 271. (This is the NBC/ WSJ/Marist route essentially) He could also take Virginia and Nevada = another 19.
    RCP say 294 to 244 and the Huff post projects 277 for Obama. Even if you say Huff is biased they have a closer view than a lot of polls.
    The CNN map with associated commentary constantly tries to make it close and the list of battleground states is at variance with GOP and Democratic party strategists list of 10 battle grounds. The list of which as at October 21st, 2012 is available on both RCP and NBC news poll sites.
    The real value of statistics is to compare like with like and not have " Your own pet version"... just to make it more newsy... it actually misleads in a statistical sense.
    Realistically its going to be 26th to see polls that may or may not be influenced by Mondays debate.
    I expect this post to be moderated out!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    October 25, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  12. Barry

    Yes, race. This explains the overwhelming Republican support of men like Allen West over Patrick Murphy. Funny no one pulls the race card when it's a Republican, guess that play is reserved for the boys in blue.

    October 25, 2012 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  13. IndependentRN

    I'm sick and tired of all these polls period.

    October 25, 2012 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  14. breed7

    Hey North Carolina - you've confirmed what most of us already know: You are a state full of below-average-IQ people. Thanks for making sure the whole world is aware of that.

    It is scientific fact –
    Those with above-average IQs are more likely to vote for a liberal candidate
    Those with below-average IQs are more likely to vote for a conservative candidate.

    So what does your vote say about you? The facts don't lie... (although those with low IQs are generally too unintelligent to even understand the implications of this).

    October 25, 2012 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  15. Name

    Nc leaned tow rom when people's lives were threatnend for shaking of obama's hands. Huh etc.

    October 25, 2012 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  16. Anonymous

    And if Romney happens to "WIN" it would only prove that America has the biggest amount of DUMB people in the world..

    October 25, 2012 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  17. Lost

    Since he was elected, the “Republican right,” with media representation such as Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Breitbart, and Fox News, as well as members of the Senate, the congress, and many in state legislatures, the whole idea has been to get this man out of the White House and nullify any policy or position that he might come up with that might bring success to his presidency, and that might possibly give him a second term.

    It started like an “undercurrent,” but now it is so overtly hateful and racist in nature, that it is polarizing America on the basis of race. So when we look at Governor Mitt Romney, you see the “Super PACs” [“independent-expenditure only committees,” unlike traditional PACs, that can raise funds from corporations, unions and other groups, and from individuals, without legal limits], and the intensity and commitment of those who are backing him. No matter how many blunders Gov. Romney may have made, nothing has stopped this “march” towards defeating President Obama for a second term. And on “the left,” you see a coalition of Black and Brown and Native American, Asians, Jews, Gentiles, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, White and Black who seem to feel that a second term for Barack Obama, since he cannot come back for another term, would give him more leverage to enact policies that would be for the long term: “good for the American people.”

    But, there’s a problem with both views: The racist view doesn’t care what Obama says or does for the benefit of America. It will always be played down. But on the other side, the vast majority of the electorate—the Democratic side; the poor, the underserved, the underclass: There is nothing that we see, even if there is a second term, that will radically alter the condition of the masses of Blacks and the masses of the poor.

    October 25, 2012 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  18. Jason Marcel

    Meanwhile, early voting numbers show the same large margin in favor of the President there. So much so that Mitt Romney's campaign is having to keep its resources there in order to try to defend the state. Republican Super PACS are taking their money out and putting it elsewhere because they think they've got NC in the bag.

    I'm sorry, but the huge early voting totals there should keep NC as a toss-up. I simply disagree with the consensus by CNN and a few others on this, because the ground game at this point is far more important than the polls.

    October 25, 2012 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  19. Elle

    Obama has been an excellent President, most especially upon what was put in his lap when first entering office. He’s battled a lot of ignorance and nahsayers just to help the underdog, and I appreciate him. I also recognized how the racist ran to vote “Red” right after he entered office to play a game of strategy and block anything that he tries to pass..and then say “wait, wait we haven’t seen change”. He’s done a lot including successfully creating a health plan that will insure millions who have gone for generations uninsured, and I might add no other President has been able to successfully do. This also preventing a balloning of out of control assets on top of the assets that were already out of control as he entered office. He also made sure Bin Laden was taken care of etc but because he’s black of course “He’ll never be good enough”. We’ll great…continue to choose color over having human rights, jobs, and success, and see how far we will go as a country…

    October 25, 2012 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  20. Richard

    Wow CNN behind the curve yet again. NC has been trending Romney for weeks...how about a story on Nevada leaning Obama? Media trying so hard to press the "dead heat" narrative but when it's all said and done thankfully Obama will win a decent electoral victory and a slim popular one as well. So much for that liberal media bias, more like lazy media bias.

    October 25, 2012 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  21. Patrick

    It is likely true that Romney has an advantage in NC based on recent polling there. My main objection to this is that CNN cites the fact that he moved ONE staffer out of the state as evidence. You are feeding into the Ronney campaign narrative and that is quite sloppy. Additionally it seems odd that you're moving NC into the lean Romney column but not OH, WI, or NV where BHO has a similar sized lead in the polls to tho lead WMR enjoys in NC

    October 25, 2012 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  22. Jimmy-James

    How can someone be leading with 206 votes when the opponent is leading with 237 votes? When someone is 31 votes ahead of you...you are not leading. You are losing. As such, CNN, you are losing in the ability actually convey messages.

    October 25, 2012 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  23. Adam

    If you follow the Republican agenda to its natural conclusion of ending food-stamps, healthcare laws, housing, medicare, social security, and keeping the minimum wage low, make no mistake about it, Republicans are pushing Social Darwinism. I say this because some Republicans don't understand that and the ones that do, don't have the guts to call it what it is.

    October 25, 2012 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  24. Big Ooo

    It seems to me that cnn is really pushing for a Romney victory they are looking to make this race look tight or leaning republican lol

    October 25, 2012 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  25. Jayne

    NC went blue once in 35 years - it doesn't meet anyone's definition as a swing state.

    October 25, 2012 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
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