by Michael Lowrey
After reading this UPoR’s story on the presidential race, I’m forced to conclude that the paper’s editor and writers don’t much like math and really, really want to the presidential race in North Carolina to be close and matter this year. Alas, it is not to be — North Carolina almost won’t be critical this year. JLF’s John Hood offers up an explanation of why, and he expects the presidential campaigns to cut back on spending here:
As the Obama and Romney campaigns duked it out over the summer, each team’s scenarios for victory continued to evolve. As New York Times blogger Nate Silver has observed, that odds that North Carolina will play a decisive role in the presidential contest have gotten pretty long.
President Obama doesn’t need North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes to win reelection, and will have to work extremely hard to get them. (In 2008, a high-water mark for Democratic turnout performance, the president won North Carolina by only 14,000 votes.) Right now, Obama is strongly or modestly favored in enough states to win the Electoral College. But if the Paul Ryan pick, the GOP convention, and other factors put Mitt Romney even or better against the president by September, the Obama campaign will likely choose to defend friendlier political turf, such [as] swing states in the Midwest and Southwest.
As for Romney, if he is still battling hard for North Carolina in October, that will be a clear signal of a doomed campaign. More likely, the campaign will put most of its resources elsewhere. North Carolina voters will certainly see plenty of broadcast ads from the two camps, as we experienced in 2008. But I no longer expect saturation buys.