2:20 pm ET
My Tar Heel State thoughts on “Andrea Mitchell Reports”:
MITCHELL: This is a tough environment though for President Obama: 9.6 percent unemployment. He won North Carolina by a 14,000, barely, plus votes last time around. And Ohio, all the focus on Ohio, that tells you, the path to Charlotte tells you exactly what they’re worried about.
HALPERIN: This is their weakest battleground state. You ask any Republican strategist at the RNC or the Romney campaign, is North Carolina in play? They say it’s not. The President’s advisers disagree. They think this state has their best organization. The combination of young voters, African-American voters, a rising Hispanic population, Charlie’s right, they’re going to keep it in play until the end, relatively cheaply. I don’t know that they’ll spend TV money here the way they will in the other battlegrounds but the ground game here will be big. And, like most of the battleground states, some surge at the end on either side could make the difference.
MITCHELL: Getting out the youth vote, we talk about college campuses. North Carolina is known for all of its wonderful college campuses. Lack of enthusiasm, the young people are more effected, according to the numbers, by unemployment and by the inability to find jobs when they get out of school.
HALPERIN: You can look at a lot of places to find why the Obama campaign is so optimistic. One reason is, for three-and-a-half years, they’ve been saying, who are the voters we need to get out? And while they’re not going to do it with the same level of absolute enthusiasm as 2008, they do know how to reach those voters in this state. In both the primary and the general election, they were extraordinarily effective in using social media, and really understanding the rhythms of college students lives and young people’s lives, to get people out to the polls, to get them to bank votes as quick as they can. And I think they’re going to do that this time more with mechanics than with enthusiasm but there’s still enough of both that they’re confident that this state is one that they can steal, in effect, even though the Romney people say, again, it’s their best battleground state.