by: Blair Miller Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - As Gov. Mitt Romney stopped in Mooresville and High Point over the weekend, the tone of his campaign became more spirited and his supporters more fired up than previous campaign stops.
While Romney was showing off his running mate, Paul Ryan, he was also trying to get the support of people like Lynn Parr.
This was her first time ever coming out to rally for a presidential candidate.
“This is amazing,” Parr said. “This is my first time. We waited in line a little over two hours to get in.”
And with the start of the Democratic National Convention now just three weeks away, and so many Charlotte residents hearing about the president and the convention, Romneyʼs staff is trying to keep their candidate in the public eye -- another reason for the weekend bus tour.
Romney said Sunday with confidence, if he wins North Carolina, he'll win the White House.
And his supporters here believe that, willing to wait in the heat on Sunday for hours and not even get inside to hear Romney speak.
But for people like Darla Beam, just getting a glimpse of the candidate was worth it.
“You have to take the opportunity to come out here because it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said.
Political analysts say voters should expect more attention on North Carolina and more political presence, including events like the one over the weekend, even after the convention is over.
Obama won North Carolina in 2008 by just 14,000 votes, and his campaign says it remains a critical battleground state they'll be fighting for long after the DNC.
“N.C. voters are going to have a special say in breaking that economic stalemate in November and building the economy from the middle class out and the top down, and you'll see a strong presence from us right up until Election Day,” said Ben LaBolt with the Obama campaign.