Once seen as a possible swing state, North Carolina appears increasingly to be a safe win by Mitt Romney this year. The Real Clear Politics polling average now has Romney winning by a 5.6 percent, a margin that is likely insurmountable with so few days left until the election. Things are going so well for Romney in the state that there are signs the campaign is pulling out resources so they can be used elsewhere. From the News Observer:
The presidential campaign of Mitt Romney has begun shifting staff out of North Carolina, saying Thursday it was feeling confident enough that the state would go Republican next month.
Although the campaign declined to specify how many individuals were involved in the shift, it did acknowledge that its chief spokesman, Robert Reid, had been moved to Ohio.
“With the increasingly widening polls in North Carolina, we will continue to allocate resources, including key senior staff, to other states,” said Michael Levoff, a Romney campaign spokesman in Boston.
The fact that neither major candidate has attended an event in North Carolina in a while and no trips are scheduled is a powerful sign that both campaigns no longer see it as a swing state any longer.
It is hard not to conclude that the Democrats’ decision to hold their convention in North Carolina was a political mistake. Even when North Carolina looked possibly winnable for Obama it was only because he was doing so well nationally. There was no serious reason to ever believe North Carolina would potentially be a tipping point state, instead the cherry on top of a big national victory.
While the benefits of holding a convention in a state are small, the Obama campaign was able to use it to motivate/reward a large number of volunteers in North Carolina. I suspect the Obama campaign now wishes they had held their convention in one of the states that will actually decide this election.