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Biden returns to North Carolina for bus tour

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden took a bus tour through the state Thursday, hitting three college campuses. will carry his 7 p.m. speech in Raleigh live.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden took a tour of North Carolina on Thursday, traveling by bus and visiting three college campuses.

Biden opened his day at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where he delivered a get-out-the-vote message.

"Our goal is the biggest voter turnout in North Carolina history. That's what we're shooting for," he said. "That turnout, as you all know, doesn't need to be on Election Day. You have until Nov. 1 to vote early.

"Ladies and gentlemen, there's no excuse (not to vote), none."

Biden was scheduled to speak at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem at 2:30 p.m. and at Meredith College in Raleigh at 7 p.m.

The running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, Biden last visited the state in September, when the two hopefuls appeared together in Greensboro.

Obama and Biden have repeatedly visited the state and expended resources here, and their strategy has forced Republican rival John McCain's campaign to respond.

The last Democratic candidate to win North Carolina was Jimmy Carter in 1976.