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. philliyboy

    It's coming down to the wire!

    October 24, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. USwatcher

    A Southern Red State goin' Red? Huh?!

    October 24, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. Fantasybaron

    Let's all sing a long: Tax cuts, tax cuts, never ending tax cuts. From the day your born till the day your gone, Republicans singing that every four song: Tax cuts, tax cuts, never ending tax cuts. Every fours years its the grand ole tune, Tax cuts, tax cuts, never ending tax cuts. One for you and one for me, two for you and one, two for me, ahh tax cuts, tax cuts, never ending tax cuts. If they create a debt, do not fret, we'll distribute that loss across and get, more, tax cuts, tax cuts – I swear they'll work this time. Tax cuts, tax cuts, cause you gotta lower em every four years or its an American crime. Come on everyone, you know the tune, four years from nowwe'll be singing soon..

    October 24, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. ForGoodOfAll

    Still time to turn it around to Obama, N. Carolina! Romney is clueless – all talk and no explanations as to how his grand plan will help the 47%. Romney even said the 47% don't matter, remember????? Obama/Biden 2012 is the answer!!!!!

    October 24, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. Andrew Hyatt Masset

    I use to love NC.. My dad went to Duke, i lived in Wilmington and had many friends there in NC. The thought of such civilized and intelligent people voting for Romney has me puzzelled and dissapointed. I feel i have lost that comraderie and kinship with them..why they would vote for a man and party that lies, deceives, treats women as onjects just makes me uncomfortable and a bit angry. Sad to say goodbye to a beautiful State and her once well liked citizens.

    October 24, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  6. batman

    the election means different things to different people. If majority of people are voting based on economy, obama's done. it has nothing to do with foreign policy, gay rights or any of that, people take offense and don't understand, people are gonna vote to what matters most to them. For majority of people that's the economy, not gay rights. It's not a vote FOR mitt, it's a vote AGAINST obama. Obama's economic policies are in the toilet and it's going to cost him.

    October 24, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. preserver3

    Early voting is up in North Carolina. The state has seen an influx of Northern Democrats register in the State and they're voting. Last time around, they called it for McCain before election night, but after the counting was done NC slipped in and squeaked out a victory just over143 years in the making. Please don't count my state red yet. Some people in this state are smart enough to know that Romney claims it will take 8-10 years to climb out of this mess and that Obama has done an incredibly good job in just 4 (faster than any other major recovery in American history). North Carolina still has votes to count.

    October 24, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  8. Arthur

    Everything is racially motivated during this election. Barack Obama is our FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT and no one wants to work with him since he came in to office. Now tell me that ain't racist.

    October 24, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. paul

    Having to report this must bring great pain to CNN. :(

    October 24, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. batman

    Mark, people are racist in every state of the union. It's not a state thing, it's a personal thing.

    October 24, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  11. centristtothecenter

    NC companies need china and oversees job market to tap – they need Romney not Obama
    Leaders: BAC, Lowes, Family Dollar Stores, Goodrich, GVR... cheap labor; not the high paying jobs. Do you see innovation coming from NC...Baah.

    October 24, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. imvotingforobama

    What do you expect from those racist? His skin color is more important to them than their pocket books. If he wins they are going to suffer.

    October 24, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Gregorio

    OK. Race is not an issue here. Ask me about leadership, competence and effectiveness.

    October 24, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  14. SPQR

    Mitt W. Romney = George W. Bush = GOP

    Tell me who your buddies are and I will tell you who you are.

    October 24, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  15. Hayden71

    Merilltech...it does matter in the end because if Hussain wins again then America will fall off the fiscal cliff and the "Dreams from my Father" will come to pass.

    October 24, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. Dionysus86

    Really not all that surprising to anyone paying attention. The only reason Obama won in 2008 because people really disliked Bush that much. I don't know anyone who ever really believed NC was in play this year.

    October 24, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. ohio

    myviewis:
    very funny. There are plenty of Ohians who know exactly what we are doing.
    How can anyone possibly support this crazy crop of Republicans today?
    Many of us are hoping Ohio goes blue this year and for good reason!
    The auto industry is one-i won't list many many others!
    If avoter wants to be backward then by all means vote republican.

    October 24, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. TheZogNJ

    How can we trust Romney when he fooled his own party? He run in the primaries as a conservative and declared many positions. Once he was elected by his party to run for president, he changes all of his positions to become a "moderate". What will happen if he is elected? He tricked his party and I figure he is about to trick us too. As a registered Republican, I will either stay home on Election Day or vote for Obama.

    October 24, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. Southern Boy

    Thanks for the convention Dems! Y'all come back!!!!

    October 24, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. Southern Boy

    Lynda, Mark is absolutely correct about his comment "the south is very racial". The Hispanics here hate the Blacks.. It is very sad....

    October 24, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  21. Chubbbjack

    The Democrats have not clearly nor consistantly identified Mitt Romney for who he is. Romney has consistantly displayed throughout his campaign that if he were the president that he would run America just as he did Bain Capital. To keep this short, Romney ran Bain for 25 years and that is the only way he knows how to run a business. Therefore, it is imperative that how Bain made its profits are at the forefront as a display of how he would do business for America. Also, don't forget that as governor his state ranked 47 in job creation.

    October 24, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  22. Ginger

    Someday I'd like to sit down with an intelligent Republican woman and try to understand how the heck she could possibly vote the way she does. I truly do not understand how any woman with a brain could vote Republican, and I am a Mensan.

    October 24, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  23. Dan

    Is 100% of the black vote for Obama racial. Would it be racial if I did not vote for Obama for the same reason the 100% are voting for him?

    October 24, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. jon

    4 dollars for a gallon of gas, of course we are leaning Romney. Although I'm voting independent cause I think these guys are too much like cloans for my taste.

    October 24, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. Jim

    Bruce Springsteen should offer to put on a series of five concerts across North Carolina if the state goes for Obama. That should energize young people to get out and vote.

    October 24, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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