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CHARLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — An afternoon thunderstorm left a rainbow over uptown Charlotte Monday, but the Democratic National Convention is sure to bring more storms of its own.

As Democrats gather to celebrate Barack Obama, the political gamesmanship is underway, especially as both parties battle for this battleground state.

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson told us Republicans are trying to drive fear rather than hope.

“They don’t have a plan to make student loans more accessible to students. They don’t have a plan for reindustrialization. They don’t have a plan to stop banks from ripping people off and home foreclosures. They don’t have a better foreign policy plan to make us more secure,” Rev. Jackson said. “So they are speculating, and President Barack Obama is delivering.”

Meanwhile Republicans, who have set up shop at the NASCAR Hall of Fame just blocks from the convention, says it’s the other way around.

“I think here as we look at what’s going forward in Charlotte, it’s going to be fascinating to see what the Democrats actually talk about, because I think they’re going to have an exceptionally hard time talking about their record,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said.

That’s the basis of how the GOP promises to outmaneuver Democrats during the convention and all fall long to take back the Tar Heel State.

“As far as this premise that they’ve got a better ground game, I don’t buy it at all,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said. “I’ve seen it in action, and we have a better ground operation. We’re gonna beat ’em here.”

Regardless of the outcome, the convention is the jumping off point and momentum-builder for candidates at all levels.

Deb Butler is challenging Thom Goolsby for his state Senate seat in New Hanover County. This week she’ll talk to various caucus groups at the DNC, then she will head back to the home stretch of the campaign.

“The campaign has been long and arduous, as you know, and it continues for the next couple of months, but this will give me renewed enthusiasm and energy to finish it strong, and so we’re all very excited about that,” Butler said.

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