October 24th, 2012
05:07 PM ET
6 years 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. Verklempt

    I wish i had some infinite wisdom on this subject bvt i do not! it seems that either way it rolls we are in jeopardy still lost at sea! its fn due time these half a mariannes that try and run this joke of a country with some real fevor and grace! what to do boss wat to do! i guess the bilderbergs are always @ z dinner table!

    October 24, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. I Voted Early In NC

    CNN you need to check our early voting stats. NC will remain Blue as we did in 2008. The last poll CNN did in NC they forgot to poll the largest county with 800,000 plus people that President Obama won in 2008.

    October 24, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  3. ChatterCharl

    Wake and Mecklenburg counties will vote for Obama. All the other counties are typical republican mainstays. They are composed of a few people with a lot of money that spread racism and a lot of people with no money that will do anything the rich say to receive their meager earnings.

    October 24, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. Tim Rigney

    Please. Is there anybody on the planet who ever thought North Carolina was going to go any other direction than for Romney? I'm an Obama supporter by the way – but c'mon, let's be realistic here. Obama never had a ghost's chance in North Carolina.

    October 24, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. Jim

    The media polls are the best way we have at the moment to ensure the integrity of the election. If the results differ greatly than the polls, people should wonder why.

    I early voted today. It was on an electronic machine that printed a record of my votes. Unfortunately I didn't get a print out of it. We absolutely have a right to get a receipt proofing our vote, in case a manual count was needed due to controversy.

    October 24, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  6. voodkokk

    Nice to see that there are some intelligent people still in N.C.

    October 24, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. N.CAsian

    @ Mark and everyone is ashamed at your lack of understanding of GOVERNMENT,

    October 24, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. danielle78

    Of course they would lean towards Romney when he basically bought their votes saying he would build more ships.... don't think that wasn't intentional. Obama has a small lead in Ohio and Nevada, and Romney new he had to seal the deal with Virginia, so he basically bought their votes on the debates. I'd like to hear him say once more that the government does not create jobs

    October 24, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Romney needs to get more excited and energize his fans, this is the stretch, dont sit on a lead, attack obama, come out energized, everytime a football team sits on a lead and tries to coast to the win, guess what, the other guys win, Romney ,you better have a strong finish

    October 24, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  10. Thomas

    They have the worst Governor other then Rick Scott of FLA.

    October 24, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  11. jon

    North Carolina has always been a red state. This is not news. Obama doesn't need NC to win. He just needs Florida and NH and he is in.

    October 24, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  12. Steve Mason

    Way to vote against your own interests North Carolina!

    October 24, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  13. Maximus

    I wish I could vote for Ronald Reagan!

    October 24, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  14. lex

    Actually, myviews, the unemployment rate in Ohio actually is less than the national unemployment rate.

    October 24, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. Tab

    I believe Obama will win in N.C. It is time for a change.

    October 24, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  16. Elliott

    Right now the polls that are being used to "measure" the race here in NC are very questionable. In 2008 Obama won by a slim margin, and this year more voters will vote for him than in the previous election. I live in NC, and I know for sure that Romney does not have this state in the bag. North Carolina has grown tremendously since 2000, and the last election was just a preview of the progressive nature of this state. That growth is part of the reason our unemployment is high; but we are a state in transition (from farming and manufacturing to technology and more healthcare). It will be close but I feel confident that Obama will take NC and VA. I made the same prediction in the last presidential election, and I feel even more assured about it this time.

    On a side note, I have noticed a change in the media coverage at CNN (John King and the lot of analysts). They have been trying to cater to the Republican viewers a lot more in the recent weeks. They are in it for the media coverage. They want a tight race, because that equates to better ratings. Don't believe the hype, and please know that the only numbers that matter will be the # of people that show up to vote in Nov.

    October 24, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  17. MichiganMan33

    Romney is an extremely capable leader that has a much better chance of ending the political gridlock in Washington than does Obama. Obama has already tried and failed. We know what we'll get with an Obama presidency: more deficits, more debt, and more gridlock. Romney will reach across the aisle and lead America, and all Americans, to greatness again.

    October 24, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. blake

    If the polling weren't oversampling Democrats by 10%, far more than North Carolina would be leaning Romney.

    October 24, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. Jeff

    Romney will crush Obama on election day, and for the first time in my life, I will be proud of my country.

    October 24, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. Minky

    Wow, I live in a strongly republican county in NC and I'm definitely not seeing the love here for Mitt Romney. Who answers their phone for pollsters. I always look at my caller id and if I don't recognize the caller id I don't answer on either my land line or cell phone. Are they sure they have this right??? When "W" was running we were awash in "W" yard signs and bumper stickers. The only yard signs we have out, were put there by the local Republican party office and you really have to look for a Romney bumper sticker. Don't get it!

    October 24, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  21. Travelman


    I've lived in NC for my entire life, but I've traveled as far north as Michigan and as far west as Colorado. If anything, the northern and western parts of the US are more racially divided than many parts of the south. I grew up going to a school where I was the white minority. I live, work, and play with people of many races everyday. Our older generations may be racist, but as our children grow up, they grow out of the old racist ways. During my trips to the north and west of the US, I saw no such interaction. During a week long road trip through the north, I saw a total of maybe a dozen people of other races. When I asked the locals about this, they said, "They stay in their areas, we stay in ours". I sincerely hope that I just asked the wrong people for information and that this isn't the norm for those areas. So before you generalize an entire population, understand that the younger generations of the south are working hard to shake historical labels.

    October 24, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  22. The GOP need to pack up and leave

    I am truly hoping that my state will turn blue this time.

    It's embarrassing to see that it's red and to see my electors' votes go to someone I didn't vote for.

    October 24, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  23. jinx88

    Hey CNN are you gonna lean Ohio Obama since he is up by 5 points? Thats outside the margin of error. Let me guess, NO!! CNN is getting just as bad as FOX.

    October 24, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    If race was an issure how did Obama win in 2008????? Do pull the race card?

    October 24, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  25. Natasha

    I don't think so!!!! Don't beleive the hype election day is not here yet!

    October 24, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
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