State News

Obama returning to N.C. on eve of election

Posted October 31, 2008 12:24 p.m. EDT
Updated October 31, 2008 1:43 p.m. EDT

— Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will return to North Carolina on the eve of Election Day, punctuating his effort to be come the first party winner here in more than three decades.

Obama's campaign said Friday he plans to visit the Charlotte area on Monday as part of a swing-state blitz. His office did not provide any other details.

Obama has visited North Carolina eight times during the campaign, trying to swing the state that has reliably voted for Republicans in White House races. He held a campaign event in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday.

The U.S. senator from Illinois has been able to capitalize on changing demographics, thousands of new voters and a large black population to put his campaign within reach of victory. A WRAL News poll released Monday showed Obama and McCain in a dead heat, with 47 percent of the vote apiece.

North Carolina hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.

McCain avoided stops in the state for months but started bringing his campaign here as polls showed the race narrowing. He visited Fayetteville on Tuesday. His running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, will be in Raleigh on Saturday, less than a week after she campaigned in Asheville.