NC now a battleground after GOP slips

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- There's a good reason that Barack Obama stayed in Asheville to prepare for this week's presidential debate. It's the same reason Michelle Obama spent the day of the debate with voters in Jacksonville.

The Democratic presidential nominee and his campaign believe they can win North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes in November.

That's after three decades in which Republicans have won the Tar Heel state.

Meanwhile, voters haven't seen GOP candidate John McCain in six months.

Public polls and a flood of Democratic voter registrations indicate North Carolina is no longer a safe Republican state.

Part of the reason is that North Carolina has changed with a million residents moving into the state since 2000.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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