by Michael Lowrey
So writes the New York Times’ Nate Silver. Silver’s models have Mitt Romney ahead by 2.3 points ahead in North Carolina — and Barack Obama ahead by 2.7 points nationally. Thus:
But North Carolina just isn’t that important to the electoral math. Mr. Obama currently holds leads in the forecast in states totaling 332 electoral votes. That figure includes a couple of cases — Florida and Virginia — that are close to being tied in the model right now. But even dropping those from Mr. Obama’s column, he has leads in states holding 290 electoral votes.
The 290 total, of course, also includes plenty of states (like Ohio and Colorado) that Mr. Obama could easily lose. If Mr. Romney gains a few points on Mr. Obama nationally, Mr. Obama will be underwater in a lot of places.
But how likely is it that Mr. Obama’s numbers will decline in states like Ohio and Colorado and, simultaneously, improve in North Carolina? That is what would be required to make North Carolina a true tipping-point state.
The answer, of course, is not very likely. Silver expects both the Obama and Romney campaigns to pull resources out of North Carolina after the DNC.