Local organization works to mobilize young voters



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Presidential campaigning kicked into high gear Saturday in the Charlotte area. Republicans canvassed neighborhoods and worked phone banks at an office in Cornelius as part of their Super Saturday grassroots effort to reach voters.

Democrats did the same in several Charlotte offices.

"We need to turn North Carolina red," said Republican volunteer Erin Russell.

She joined Republican Party officials as they opened the North Mecklenburg County Victory Office.  Leaders there said dozens of frustrated volunteers are fueling the operation.

"Calvin was here today. He's not going to be a Democrat anymore, because he can't get a job anywhere in the state," said Robin Hayes, Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.

The party is eager to reverse the outcome of 2008, when North Carolina turned from a red state into a blue state for the first time since the 1970s.

Meanwhile in West Charlotte, young Democrats of North Carolina and other Democratic Party officials worked to register voters and they canvassed local neighborhoods. Young Democrats said a key to keeping North Carolina blue in 2012 may be young voters.

"Across North Carolina it was six, seven, eight, votes per precinct that was the margin that Barack carried the state of North Carolina with. When we're registering young voters, if we get eight or nine more voters registered and out to the polls in November that could be the difference in this electon," said Sam Spencer, President of the Young Democrats of North Carolina.

Each party said they saw strong volunteer support Saturday. Many of the volunteers were pumped up about the national conventions slated to take place in the next few weeks.  The Democratic National Convention is slated to kick off in Uptown Charlotte during the first full week of September.  The Republican National Convention is in Tampa Bay, Florida during the last week of August.