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. Reality

    I live in NC. I am not rich by any means, but I understand basic economics. I do have a 4 year degree (to those who think people from NC are undereducated.) Our current President, and thus his policies, could, and have, been a detriment to our economy. I bellieve we have the right to persue happiness, however we are in no way entitled to it. As Americans we need to believe in ourselves, and vote for someone who can truely bring this country back to prosperity for everyone. We are entitled to the freedom to vote, and I do hope we vote to continue that freedom.

    October 24, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. Linda

    The people in North Carolina aren't strong enough to fight the extremism in the GOP. They are just weak. They probably don't want unions rather accept lower wages with few or no benefits. The women don't care about making decisions about their own body. They are fine with the government making the decisions for them. They believe the lies that the rich are out there creating jobs for the middle class.

    October 24, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  3. Marcelo Payamps Sr.

    I am from Donican Republic, but my vote is Republicano.

    October 24, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  4. Tina

    I live in North Carolina and once again they have made the wrong choice, this time with Romney. It's hard being someone with common sense living in a state that seems to of lost theirs. I blame the bible belt.

    October 24, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  5. Kevin

    You are correct, Mark, race is an issue in this election, just as it was in 2008. That is how Obama won the last election, by making it about race. It sure was about race to the elderly African American woman in line to vote in front of me in 2008 who asked me to take her picture because it was the first time she was ever voting! Yep, it is about race to many voting Democrats!

    October 24, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. Edwin

    Why is this a surprise? North Carolina was close last time, and Obama does not have the same popularity as he did last time. Very few states show Obama as popular as in 2008 - that's the reality of 2012. A bad economy may be improving, but it's not good yet. There are other things, too - but the issues don't matter.

    The reality is that North Carolina is not as pro-Obama as it was last time. Since he only won by a few points last time, he is unlikely to win this time. Everybody knew this a year ago, and it hasn't changed.

    October 24, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  7. JBB

    Mark – race is not an issue there...if it were, Obama would not have carried the state 2008.

    October 24, 2012 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  8. Carolina Girl

    For those of you slamming North Carolina for being "very racial", please allow me to point out that we've had explosive population growth due to people moving from New York and New Jersey. We even have people moving from California! Gee, shouldn't that translate into a more liberal, less-biased population? Hmmm. Race relations aren't perfect, but before you go slamming the Old North State, perhaps you should look at your own state or commonwealth. I'm sure those of you making these snarky statements live in a place far from perfect.

    October 24, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  9. JBB

    Mark – you're ashamed of America? Get over yourself...

    October 24, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. Mark

    goodbye mr. racist president, good bye democratic party – killers of babies deserve no less than total defeat in November.

    October 24, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  11. Maria

    NC was never Obama's – what are these people talking about? Obama DOES NOT need NC to win...only Ohio and PA

    October 24, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  12. steve

    the house of cards are about to fall!

    October 24, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  13. Republican who supports President Obama

    I sincerely hope the polls are wrong.

    October 24, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  14. jim

    I made an observation some would agree with...the last election, we observed Romney sweating a lot and Obama drawing blood.
    Talk about the country's naval strength was embarrassing...it was what I would call a "Palin esque" moment..."bayonets and horses"...you can't be that stupid Mr. Romney or are you?
    Who was and is smarter, more deliberate, thoughtful , problem solving leader

    October 24, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  15. Randy

    So, consistent leads in Nevada and Ohio don't justify saying that they lean Obama, but a short-term lead with the same spread justifies saying that NC leans Romney? I mean it doesn't really matter, but for a network under attack for trying too hard to make everything a dead-heat horserace, this doesn't make sense.

    October 24, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  16. kevin

    Go Romney! Romney will win iwith a lanslide!

    October 24, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  17. Ohioan

    We are with you North Carolina – go with Romney!

    October 24, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  18. Richard Marks

    Race is NOT an issue in the South. Herman Cain was doing very well in the South. The South is conservative; it will vote that way (white, black, or brown).

    October 24, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  19. AJC

    I love to entertain the thought that Big O will win by a landslide- and when you ask the pollster didn't you favor Romney they can answer; "Oh, I lied".

    October 24, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  20. miklea supporter, but

    I will see : Romney going to win.

    October 24, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  21. Kneesus

    There are very liberal parts of North Carolina, like Asheville. I've traveled all over the world and rarely have I encountered such a dense collection of awesome food and beer.

    October 24, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  22. nc1965

    Obama doesn't need NC

    THE REAL CLEAR POLITICS ELECTORAL MAP. The toss up states

    Where votes really matter. Obama leads in 8 out of 10.

    PA (20 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.7 44.7 Obama +5.0

    OH (18 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.4 46.0 Obama +2.4

    MI (16 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.6 43.6 Obama +5.0

    WI (10 electoral votes) – RCP Average 50.0 47.2Obama +2.8

    IA (6 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.3 46.0 Obama +3.3

    NV (6 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.0 46.0 Obama +3.0

    VA (13 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.4 47.6 Obama +0.8

    NH (4 electoral votes) – RCP Average 48.3 47.5 Obama +0.8

    CO (9 electoral votes) – RCP Average 47.9 47.7 Romney +0.2

    FL (29 electoral votes) – RCP Average 49.3 46.8 Romney +2.5

    YOU DO THE MATH

    October 24, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  23. Keel Hauler

    Being familiar with the typical North Carolina mindset, I'd not only say that race is a factor in this election as far as they're concerned , I'd say it's THE MOST important factor for many of them. Of course, getting people to admit that is like pulling teeth...

    October 24, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  24. Mike M

    CNN is no better than MSNBC, they only mention the polls that show the widest margin of victory for Obama. Not the 5 other polls that show it nearly tied:

    10/23/12 Poll – Rasmussen Reports: 48 Obama 48 Romney – Tie
    10/21/12 Poll – SurveyUSA: 47 Obama 44 Romney – +3 Obama
    10/21/12 Poll – Suffolk: 48 Obama 48 Romney – Tie
    10/20/12 Poll – PPP: 49 Obama 48 Romney – +1 Obama
    10/19/12 Poll – Gravis Marketing: 47 Romney 47 Obama – Tie

    October 24, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  25. H. L. Mencken

    Concentrating on poll results for this presidential election is an exercise in futility. Do better to flip a coin. Same odds.

    October 24, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
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