by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Some of presidential candidate Mitt Romney's staffers are moving out of North Carolina, forecasting a victory in the Tarheel state.
But with early voting just beginning on Thursday, some political analysts believe it's an unwise decision.
"This is really surprising in terms of sending some kind of signal," Dr. Michael Bitzer said.
The Romney campaign said in a statement: "With the increasingly widening polls in North Carolina, we will continue to allocate resources, including key senior staff, to other states."
The campaign won't say how many people are leaving but it did acknowledge its chief spokesperson in North Carolina has left for Ohio. It said they expect supporters and volunteers to remain active in N.C.
Former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt, who's been campaigning for President Barack Obama, said he believes the Romney campaign is taking North Carolina for granted.
"Four years ago, John McCain thought he had it won and he lost," he said. "The early voting looks very good for President Obama and the Democrats, but you have to work till the very end."
Dr. Bitzer pointed out that early voting numbers don't signal a clear victory.
According to numbers the State Board of Election posted Friday morning, 223,177 participated in early voting by voting in person and by mail yesterday.
Forty-seven percent are registered Democrats, compared to just under 35 percent who are registered Republicans.
"It's the contradiction of, 'We're pulling out our forces because we're confident that we have it already,' but the fact of who is showing up to vote sends a very different signal," he said.