If Romney is in NC, he’s still losing
October 12, 2012 Leave a comment
Driving home yesterday I heard a story that Romney was campaigning in Asheville, NC yesterday. Asheville?! If the Romney campaign still feels he needs to be spending time in NC this close to the election, there’s no way he’s winning this race. I’d say the equivalent would be Obama campaigning in Michigan or Pennsylvania (which certainly isn’t happening).
National Journal ran a nice piece on the strategery today:
On its face, North Carolina would seem the swing state President Obama is least likely to win on Nov. 6. But while they won’t concede the state is lost, Obama’s campaign is pursuing a curious strategy — while they have ramped up spending on television advertisements across the battleground map, their spending levels in North Carolina have remained stagnant.
They may not be playing to win North Carolina, but Obama’s team is staying competitive enough to force Republican nominee Mitt Romney and the outside groups that back him to pour millions into the state — money that might otherwise be used to prop up Romney’s efforts in other states where he has more work to do…
Republicans, meanwhile, have slowly ramped up their spending in North Carolina. This week alone, Romney’s campaign is spending $1.4 million, while the two wings of the American Crossroads organization are dumping $1.75 million into the state. All told, Republicans are outspending Obama by a nearly five-to-one margin this week. Over the last four weeks, Romney and his Republican allies have spent about $12.2 million on North Carolina advertising, almost four times the amount Obama has spent.
It is money Romney and his allies would desperately like to spend elsewhere.
But North Carolina is an essential state for Romney’s hopes of winning the White House. Polls show Romney with a slight advantage, though neither candidate can claim a lead anywhere approaching the margin of error. While Obama’s paths to victory are myriad enough that North Carolina’s electoral votes are a luxury he could afford to lose, there is no practical path to the necessary electoral votes for Romney that doesn’t include the Tar Heel State.
When Romney can consider NC (and probably another battleground state, too) safely in the bag, maybe then this race is actually even. Not before then.