That sounds close, doesn't it? But when you consider that outside the old confederacy, the president out polled his Republican challenger by almost 55 to 45 percent, it sounds more like a landslide.
My guess is that the GOP will focus more on that top number and double down in 2016, nominating a candidate even more conservative than Mitt Romney. By then, however, those national numbers may resemble even more the 55-45 split outside the South this year.
Only then, after a true landslide, will the Republicans begin moving back to the center.