Monday, May 7, 2012

Obama, Romney target North Carolina

The New York Times does not think North Carolina is an important swing state, but President Obama and  Mitt Romney apparently do.

The Romney super PAC launched one of his biggest TV ad buys in North Carolina last week, and Obama will start airing ads this week in North Carolina and eight other states. The race will turn on how a handful of swing states vote, and both campaigns are starting early in the Tar Heel state.

Restore our Future, the Romney super PAC, is spending $652,000 airing ads this month. It's part of a nine-state push, with North Carolina attracting a bigger ad budget than Ohio, Michigan and every other state but Florida. Politico's Alex Burns says the ads mark a new point in the race, which until now had been funded by outside GOP groups, but not ones explicitly supporting Romney such as Restore our Future.

At the same time, Obama is running a 60-second ad saying the economy is starting to rebound. It's running  here and in eight other states, including Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Word didn't get to the New York Times, though, which says in a story this morning that the presidential race hinges on nine swing states -- and North Carolina is not one of them. The nine, according to the Times: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. All nine voted for Obama in 2008, but Republicans have made big gains since then.

Our hunch? November is a lifetime away, but right now it seems Obama will have a hard time winning North Carolina. He won by a tiny 14,000 votes in 2008 in the biggest Democratic tidal wave this state has seen in decades. With the enthusiasm around Obama waning considerably, it's hard to imagine he can pull it off again.

-- Taylor Batten


Bill said...


I agree that it's most likely not a swing state, but 2 things to consider:

1) By spending money in NC, the Dems could put the state at risk for the GOP. Forcing the GOP to protect their base.
2) I agree the enthusiasm for Obama has waned, but you also have to acknowledge the GOP isn't exactly giddy about Romney. He's having a very difficult time drawing crowds. Whether this impacts voter turnout remains to be seen.

GottaBchittenme said...

But the crowd didn't fill the arena, which seats 18,000. Entire sections of the upper deck were empty and there was floor space available.
Republicans mocked the turnout as "empty seats for empty promises."

Read more here:

Jonathan said...

PPP consistently shows NC tied or gives Obama a slight edge. While they are a Democratic leaning pollster, their polls are generally very accurate. I think NC will be a close contest, and while Obama may lose, it will be a place the GOP has to spend money.

As far as Gotta's note regarding Obama's crowd in Ohio, it was 14,000 people. Not bad for a sitting President who's only hovering around 50% approval. And far, far more than Romney's ever had at a rally.

mypitts2 said...

It's important, b/c Romney can't afford to lose it -- and that's a real possibility. Romney will have to spend money in NC, lots of it, and any state where a candidate (or his Super PACs) have to dump money is an important swing state. B/c otherwise, the money could be spent elsewhere.

He will also have to spend time here -- again a limited resource. This "spread the map" strategy is exactly how Obama defeated McCain.

Keep in mind the same dynamic will not be in play in Arizona.

mypitts2 said...

Meant to say the same dynamic WILL be in play in Arizona.

mypitts2 said...

If the NYT Times' Nate Silver is who this blog is based on, we should know his definition of swing state:

"Let me remind you about how I use the term 'swing state' here at FiveThirtyEight. When I employ the term, I mean a state that could swing the outcome of the election. That is, if the state changed hands, the victor in the Electoral College would change as well."

OK, by that very limited definition, no NC would not be a swing state. Under any traditional political definition, it would.

Fire Coach K said...

Obviously a lot can change ... but as of now, Romney is in a heap of trouble. He only has 170 electoral votes that he can absolutely count on. That means he has to find another 100 in this group (electoral votes in parentheses):

Arizona (11)
Colorado (9)
Florida (29)
Iowa (6)
Missouri (10)
Nevada (6)
New Hampshire (4)
New Mexico (5)
North Carolina (15)
Ohio (18)
Virginia (13)

By contrast, President Obama only needs to get 28 electoral votes out of that group ... and there are a whole lot of ways he can do that.

Win Florida? It's over right there.

Or win Ohio and Missouri.

Or win Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Virginia (each of which he's currently ahead in the polls).

Romney only has one way to win: He has to take 100 of the 126 electoral votes that are up for grabs. Not impossible, but darn sure a tall order.

Unknown said...

Not voting for either. No matter how hard they beg me to. I don't see a difference.

John said...

Fire Coach K,

That's why we have elections. Polls only show tendencies and even those change over time. This is May, NOT November and while Democrats are already sure what their ticket will be (like it or not), Republicans don't for sure, so there will still be splits in support which will mostly go away by convention time.

The media and Democrats are hyping an economic "recovery" all of a sudden that makes one wonder if it's real, or just politics. That claim may ring very hollow to the millions of people still unemployed despite the trillions spent, deficits busted and promises made!

The Supreme Court has yet to rule on Obama care and will likely do so before the election. It appears likely that they will strike down the individual mandate and there are indications that they might even strike down the entire law. That ruling, and how the administration reacts to it, could dramatically change the political landscape.

Fire Coach K said...

Evidently you missed my opening sentence, where I pretty clearly said, "Obviously a lot can change." So yes, AS OF NOW, those are the cold, hard facts of how the electoral map is shaping up. But cry all you want about the mean ol' mainstream media, if you think that is a helpful strategy.

Actually, I may have been too charitable toward Romney; one could make a case that New Mexico and maybe New Hampshire are squarely in the Obama column, therefore Mittens actually has to win 100 of the remaining 117 electoral votes. Ouch.

At this point, Romney's only hope may be a national calamity -- a terrorist attack, war with Iran, etc. Quite a thing for the GOP to pin their hopes on. Then again, they've been praying for America to fail for 3+ years, so they should be used to it.

Skippy said...

Obama turned this state from blue to red Nov 2010 for the first time in over 120 years. And what has he done since then but endlessly campaign using recycled platitudes? We have 5 trillion in new debt, no jobs, real unemployment stuck at 11%, workforce participation rates at 30 highs and the lowest new small business start ups in the history of this country happening right now.

You libs keep believing this clown has a chance as the independent voters are fleeing faster than Clinton dropped trousers for interns.

Enjoy the kool aid.

Cecil James said...

In NC Democrat Presidential Preference... Barack 0bama 79.2%....'no preference' 20.8%. I would say that Democrats are in for a drubbing...