Democrats tour state as Romney camp scales back

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A day after Mitt Romney’s campaign announced it’s shifting resources from North Carolina to other battleground states, the Democratic National Committee and Obama for America stepped up their Tar Heel state efforts today in Wilmington.

The “Gotta Vote” bus tour brought in big names like Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton. They encouraged voters to register and take advantage of early voting.

In 2008 Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win North Carolina since Jimmy Carter, but he won by only 14,000 votes.

This time around Romney’s campaign seems to think a GOP victory is in the bag. Thursday, Romney campaign leaders announced a cut back in resources to North Carolina.

“Everybody knows this election is still up for grabs at every level, and I think it basically shows he feels not confident in North Carolina,” Dalton said.

But one of the Democratic Party’s bus tour stars, Sacramento, CA, Mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson, thinks the Romney announcement is a head fake.

“He’ll have people here,” Johnson said. “Rick Santorum is coming into North Carolina. We’re not falling for it. We’re going to work even harder.”

Some pundits think Romney may actually ride the coattails of Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory, who has a double-digit lead in multiple polls over Dalton.

“Polls are polls. Election Day is Election Day,” Dalton said. “So I feel very good and obviously there’s a lot of enthusiasm today.”

Republicans are also rolling out their big guns. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will join McCrory and other Republican candidates, including Congressional hopefull David Rouzer at a get-out-the-vote rally and barbeque in Smithfield next Friday night.

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