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North Carolina No Longer a Swing State?

Just last month, Mitt Romney and President Obama were tied in Rasmussen’s North Carolina poll. Now, Romney has an 8-point lead, according to Rasmussen. That’s a fairly significant shift, and the most likely culprit is obviously Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage:

Mitt Romney has moved out to an eight-point lead over President Obama in North Carolina after the two men were virtually tied a month ago.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Tar Heel State shows the putative Republican nominee earning 51% of the vote to Obama’s 43%. Two percent (2%) like some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

That’s a big change from last month when Romney posted a narrow 46% to 44% lead over the president in Rasmussen Reports’ first survey of the race in North Carolina.

Democrats have signaled North Carolina’s importance as a key swing state by deciding to hold their national convention in Charlotte this summer.

The Democrats have put themselves in something of a bind by deciding to hold the convention in North Carolina and consequently emphasizing its importance as a swing state. Even though North Carolina went for Obama by a miniscule margin in 2008, some political observers had already put it in the Romney column months ago. Jeff Zeleny at the New York Times excluded North Carolina from its swing state list back in March (he characterized it as “leans Republican,” but also added that it was the “most competitive [of the lean-Republican states] and could become a tossup as the campaign develops.”).

Ed Morrissey looks at the internals, which show Romney picking up a remarkable portion of Democrats in the state. Pay close attention to the women’s vote as well:

Independents break narrowly for Romney, 49/45, but Romney also gets 18% of Democrats while losing only 6% of Republicans.  That 18% of Democrats looks awfully close to the 20.3% that voted “no preference” in last week’s primary rather than cast a vote for Obama, too, for a little independent corroboration of that number.

Romney leads among men 50/44, but does even better among women, 53/41.  That will send a shiver up spines at Team Obama.  Rasmussen uses three age demos, and Obama wins the youngest, but only 50/39, another red flag. Romney wins wide majorities in the other two, including a whopping 68/30 split among seniors.

Jonathan wrote yesterday on the CBS News/New York Times poll, which showed Romney leading with women nationally. Like Obama’s gay marriage endorsement, the Democratic Party’s “war on women” rhetoric may have worked to energize the base and donors, but it’s not helping with swing voters.


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