As the election is now officially two weeks away, usually you start seeing the campaigns of each party start to divvy their resources into more crucial swing states.
But on the opposite side, as resources are about to be used up; you’ll essentially start seeing candidates “give up” on states. The most recent example would be in 2008 when Republican nominee John McCain effectively pulled his staff out of Michigan to focus on states such as Ohio and Florida.
However the McCain example is usually the status quo when it comes to conceding states. The concession usually is the failure of trying to turn a potential swing state into an actual swing state (for Democrats, think a state such as Arizona) but when there was a few months remaining, it was worth the investment.
Shockwaves on the left however, reverberated throughout the internet last night when CNN pundit Paul Begala (who also doubles as an advisor for an Obama SuperPAC) stated that Romney is likely to carry the state that voted Democratic in 2008. Begala cited not an opinion but an attempt at stating a fact when he alluded to the fact that Barack Obama hasn’t been spending too much time in the Tarheel State.
Now while North Carolina, besides Indiana, seems to be the most likely state to turn from blue-to-red in the 2012 election cycle; is it really being conceded by President Obama with only a fortnight remaining?
On the surface it would seem like a smart idea for the President to probably turn away from the state. North Carolina was the state earlier this year that voted for a Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage and the gubernatorial race seems to be an easy pick-up for the Republican Party. Though the 2012 Democratic National Convention was hosted in Charlotte, there still seems to be a strong conservative streak that runs through the state.
However, the answer appears to be “no” when it comes to the Obama team giving up on North Carolina according to top advisor David Axelrod. Axelrod stated on MSNBC today that:
There’s all this conjecture and a lot is animated by this sort of flood of public polling, often contradictory, much of it methodically suspect. And all I know is what is real: What is real is we registered a huge number of voters in that state. What is real is what’s going on on the ground in terms of early voting. We believe it’s competitive and we’re going do everything we can. We invested more money in television in that state. We’re going after North Carolina as we are all the other battleground states and I wouldn’t rule out anything between now and election day.
Now it’s no secret that the Obama campaign has invested a lot of resources into North Carolina and it’s safe to assume that ads will still run through the state. Dismissing the polls though as “conjecture” doesn’t appear to be the smartest thing to do, but if Axelrod wants to pushback against the comments made by Begala, he does have to do something.
I’m not too keen on Obama winning the state, but volunteers of the Obama campaign aren’t likely to give up on a state that they narrowly won in 2008. However, it does appear that North Carolina has completed its evolution from a “safe Republican” state to an annually competitive battleground which is still a victory for the Democratic Party.