With 19 days remaining until election day, Obama has fallen behind Mitt Romney for the first time on Real Clear Politics’ electoral map.
To be sure, Obama still leads on RCP’s “No Toss Ups” map, but the trend is obvious: Obama’s support is steadily eroding across the country. This is certainly not where Team Obama expected to be this late in the game. Romney’s newfound electoral lead is the result of RCP’s decision to move North Carolina, which had previously been rated a toss-up, to Romney’s column.
RCP is simply acknowledging reality as a slew of recent polls indicate Obama’s sinking rapidly in the Tar Heel State.
The status of Virginia, Florida, and Colorado as toss-ups may be changing soon too. Last week Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos announced he had stopped polling in North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida. Why? Put simply, he doesn’t believe Obama can win those states and doesn’t want to waste any more resources there:
“In places like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, we’ve already painted those red. We’re not polling any of those states again. We’re focusing on the remaining states,” Paleologos told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.
The remark surprised O’Reilly.
“That’s interesting. Let me stop you there. You’re convinced, your polling agency is convinced that Florida, North Carolina and Virginia are going to go for Romney?” O’Reilly said.
“That’s right, and here’s why. Before the debate the Suffolk poll had Obama winning 46 to 43 in the head-to-head number, a poor place to be for a couple of reasons,” said Paleologos, director of Suffolk University Political Research Center.
He continued: “Number one, his ballot test, his head-to-head number was under 47 [percent] before the debate and it’s very difficult when you have the known quantity, the incumbent, to claw your way up to 50. So that was a very, very poor place for him to be. And so we’re looking at this polling data not only in Florida but in Virginia and in North Carolina and it’s overwhelming.”
In a piece today at Breitbart, Tony Lee noted that Team Obama seems to be laying the groundwork for not only pulling out of Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, but Colorado as well. If the 56 electoral votes in Colorado, Florida, and Virginia are added to Romney’s column, that gets him to 262, leaving him 8 votes shy of 270. Obama’s lead is steadily shrinking in Ohio and Wisconsin, and with 18 and 10 electoral votes, respectively, a victory by Romney in either one would send Obama back to his community organizing roots. Obama’s definitely worried. Why else would he have spent today trolling for New Hampshire’s 4 electoral votes? In the waning days of the campaign, Romney’s expanding his map electoral map while Obama’s shrinking his.
Update: Today’s Gallup Tracking Poll of likely voters has Romney up by seven points, 52-45.