Raleigh, N.C. -- North Carolina, host of the Democratic National Convention starting Tuesday, is among the closest of swing states, with polls showing President Obama and Mitt Romney locked in a statistical dead heat for much of the past year.
Four years ago, Obama won by only 14,000 votes out of 4.3 million cast,
becoming the first Democrat to take the state since 1976. Repeating
that win - and grabbing North Carolina's 15 electoral votes - would make
Romney's path to victory a lot tougher. But the state's 9.6 percent
unemployment rate is among the nation's highest, and Obama's challenge this year is wrapped in the racial and sexual politics of the Bible Belt.
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