Pollster pulls out of Fla., NC and Va., says Obama can’t win there

Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos, whose polls are aggregated into mainstream averages to show where the presidential race stands in the swing states, said he’s finished polling in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia because President Obama has no shot of winning those states.

“I think in places like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, we’ve already painted those red, we’re not polling any of those states again,” Paleologos said Tuesday night on Fox’s "The O’Reilly Factor." “We’re focusing on the remaining states.”

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Mitt Romney has spiked in the national polls since his first debate last week against President Obama. Romney took the lead over Obama nationally for the first time all year on Tuesday, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, although statistically the two are tied. Romney’s advantage is less than 1 percentage point.

The race has also tightened in the 12 swing states — Florida, North Carolina and Virginia among them — that President Bush won in 2004 but Obama won in 2008, and which will be critical in determining the outcome of the election.

Romney has trailed Obama in the bulk of those states throughout the cycle, and most polling analysts are unsure whether the GOP nominee’s post-debate bump will last, or what events might transpire to alter the course of the race in the month before Election Day.

Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly seemed perplexed, and asked Paleologos if he was certain those three states were already in the bag for Romney.

“That’s right, and here’s why. Before the debate, the Suffolk poll had Obama ahead 46 to 43 [in Florida] in the head-to-head number,” Paleologos responded. 

“A poor place to be for a couple of reasons. Number one, his ballot test, his head-to-head number was below 47 percent before the debate, and it’s very, 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.

“So we’re looking at this polling data not only in Florida but in Virginia and North Carolina and it’s overwhelming,” Paleologos concluded.

The latest Suffolk poll in Florida, taken before last week’s debate, showed Obama ahead 46 percent to 43 among likely voters. 

Florida is the largest swing-state prize, with 29 electoral votes. 

Romney has since overtaken the president in the RCP average, but by less than 1 percentage point, meaning the race is statistically tied.

In Virginia, where late last month Suffolk found Obama with a 2-point advantage, the president still leads, according to the RCP average. But Virginia is similarly close to Florida, with Obama leading by less than 1 percentage point.

In North Carolina, which most analysts agree will be the toughest battleground state for the president to win, Romney has a 3-point lead, according to the RCP average. 

However, that’s boosted by a 9-point advantage he has in a Gravis Marketing survey, which could be an outlier.

Most polling analysts believe the presidential race to be a tie nationally, with the momentum currently in Romney’s favor and the bulk of the battleground states remaining toss-ups.