Earlier today, I predicted a four-point win for Barack Obama in North Carolina, but compared to the Hillary Clinton campaign, I’m an eternal optimist. Drudge now says that Team Hillary will not be surprised to lose by 15 points, which seems rather pessimistic given the recent polling for the state. Reality or spin?

Hillary Clinton’s inner circle now fears a stinging defeat is likely in North Carolina.

“Look, we worked hard and gave it our best shot, but the demographics, well, they are what they are,” a top campaign source explained to the DRUDGE REPORT as voting began Tuesday morning.

The campaign now believes a 15 point loss, or more, would not be surprising. Her team will work hard throughout the day to lower all expectations in North Carolina.

This looks like a transparent attempt to make the end result look good no matter what. Real Clear Politics has Obama up by an average of eight points in NC, using seven polls taken within the last two weeks. The outlier of those surveys has Obama winning by 10 points, a far cry from the 15 Team Hillary cites as a threshold today or the 23 points Obama had in the April 3 Rasmussen poll. Early voting will make it easier for Obama to win, but 15 points would be a shocker.

We can expect plenty of expectation-setting today, but this is ridiculous. If Hillary dropped seven points overnight, she will have some explaining to do, regardless of how she performs in Indiana. (via Memeorandum)