This is something I posted to Rob Christensen's story "Romney puts North Carolina back in the red column."
North Carolina is still a swing state. Anytime the spread is 2 percentage points, that means the state is competitive. In a way, North Carolina could be said to be "more blue" than it was in 2008 -- relative to the national result. In 2008, Obama carried the country by 7 points but won North Carolina by less than 1/3 of a percent (.31%). Our state was 7 points below the national mean in 2008. This year with Obama's 3-point lead nationally and 2-point deficit in North Carolina, our state is 5 points below the national mean. So, we're 2 points closer to the national mean this year than four years ago.