GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – All eyes are on North Carolina Tuesday, as both major presidential campaigns make stops in the state.
Hillary Clinton will be in Charlotte, while Donald Trump is visiting Raleigh.
Political experts say North Carolina has suddenly emerged as a major battleground state in the race for president, noted by the rallies in the state’s biggest cities Tuesday, which are separated by just 2 hours and just under 200 miles.
Political experts, like David McLennan, say it’s no coincidence Trump scheduled a rally for the same day as Clinton.
“I think he’s going to try and turn what’s a big celebration for democrats in Charlotte into an attack on the democrats that he is very good at,” said McLennan, a Meredith College Political Science Professor.
Political experts are calling North Carolina a purple state, meaning it doesn’t belong to republicans or democrats, and a win for either candidate will be crucial in getting elected.
President Barack Obama makes his first appearance on the campaign trail Tuesday alongside Clinton. Meanwhile, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker will join Trump in Raleigh, amidst reports he could be selected as the republican’s running mate. Attorney General and democratic candidate for governor Roy Cooper has endorsed Hillary Clinton, and will join her in Charlotte. On the other side, Governor Pat McCrory has said he’ll support whoever’s the republican nominee.
Clinton’s campaign is counting on rounding up support from the growing backlash against controversial House Bill 2. Meanwhile, Trump appears strongest in more rural areas of the state.
Democratic state Senator Jeff Jackson says the rallies Tuesday indicate just how important the state is becoming.
“The fact that the president and Hillary chose this to be the very first joint stop means that they expect North Carolina to be the most, if not one of the most, competitive states in the general election,” Sen. Jackson said.
Clinton’s rally begins at 3 p.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center. Trump’s rally begins at 7 p.m. at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. The visits are one of what’s expected to be many by both candidates to North Carolina leading into the November election.
WNCT will have full coverage of both visits to the state Tuesday coming up on 9 On Your Side News starting at 5 p.m.