Democrats seek NC's 15 electoral votes
September 3, 2012 (CHARLOTTE, N.C.) (WLS) -- With first lady Michelle Obama doing her walk-through on the convention stage at Time Warner Arena, all is set for the Democrats' big show in Charlotte this week.
In an extraordinary close race, the Democrats believe this event can make a difference.
They get the last word following the Republicans in Tampa and if they're successful, it means new campaign energy that can produce coveted voter turnout.
The party is counting on this city to push the president over the top in the South.
"North Carolina was tight in 2008, it'll be tight this year," said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx. "I don't think this will be an easy state to win, but it is a state that the president absolutely can win.
The Democrats hope that if they can win North Carolina, the momentum will spill over to neighboring Virginia, two of the 10 battleground swing states that hold the outcome of this election.
The strategy is to refine the message in Charlotte, what you will hear again and again is an appeal to middle class voters.
"Middle class families feel they've been working hard, wages flat lined over decades, how do we restore econ for middle class?" said Obama campaign spokesperson Ben Labolt.
Democrats are promising a convention that's open to the public. Carolinafest, a taste of Charlotte holiday event drew in people under initially sunny skies, including Chicago cops helping out and some visiting Chicagoans.
But the reality is that Charlotte's skies can quickly open up, raising the question of what happens if it pours during the president's big speech Thursday night at an outdoor stadium.
"The event on Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium is going forward rain or shine at this point," Steve Kerrigan said.
With no umbrellas allowed in the stadium, you could make a good buck here selling ponchos.
The Obama campaign has been offering tickets to the public for that event on Thursday. Those who want them have to offer to volunteer for the campaign.
politics, alan krashesky
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