WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- With early voting underway and Election Day quickly approaching, Republicans and Democrats are rolling out big name support on the campaign trail across North Carolina, including in Wilmington.
The Democratic National Committee's and Obama for America's "Gotta Vote" bus tour continues its travels across the state Friday, including a stop in Wilmington. The bus is scheduled to pull into Riverfront Park at 12:30 p.m. with Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, who is running for governor, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, among others. The "Gotta Vote" tour will encourage voters to take advantage of early voting and will help voters make sure they are registered to vote.
Republicans are also bringing out the big guns. Sen. David Rouzer, who is challenging Rep. Mike McIntyre for his 7th District seat in Congress, is one of several local, state and federal candidates who will be part of a Pat McCrory-sponsored Conservatives Unite to Get-Out-the-Vote rally and barbecue October 26 in Smithfield. The event features McCrory, Sen. Richard Burr and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has helped McCrory raise money a couple of times already this year.
On a national level, North Carolina continues to be a politically-important state. Barack Obama won the state by only 14,000 votes in 2008, and Republicans have been working hard since to win it back for Mitt Romney. Democrats, who held their nominating convention in Charlotte last month, are also trying to make sure that does not happen, and that President Obama can carry the Tar Heel State, which would help push him toward another Electoral College victory. Rouzer's race against Democratic incumbent McIntyre has drawn millions of dollar in outside money, as the GOP tries to hold on to its majority in the US House.
Meanwhile, Republicans, who regained control of the legislature in 2010 for the first time since Reconstruction, are looking to expand their majorities in the state House and Senate and win the governor's office, creating an across-the-board majority that was long the norm for Democrats.