Presidential candidates focus on North Carolina in final hours before election

Both presidential candidates and running mates are spending their last waking hours before Election Day making a final pitch to North Carolina voters.

Some are calling North Carolina a checkmate state; meaning whichever candidate wins this crucial battleground state will be the next president.

With just one day left before the election, polls show the presidential race in North Carolina is virtually tied.

At an east Charlotte rally Monday morning, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine didn't talk much about the issues.

Instead, he focused on energizing supporters to hit polling places Tuesday and hammered on the Clinton campaign slogan, "Stronger Together," which resonated with the crowd of about 100.

"[Hillary Clinton] is trying to make it better for everybody," voter Lucille Smith said.

In a one-on-one interview, Senator Kaine told Eyewitness News anchor Liz Foster he's worried about growing resentment Americans have toward politics.

If victorious Tuesday night, Kaine said he and Clinton will work to bring the nation together.

"We've got to show people we're listening to their concerns,” Kaine said. “An awful lot of concerns around North Carolina, Virginia and around the country are economic concerns. And those are concerns shared by Donald Trump voters and some Hillary Clinton voters."

In Raleigh on Monday afternoon, Donald Trump's final message to North Carolina voters included bringing jobs back to the state, repealing Obamacare and what he called 'draining the swamp' in Washington.

"My contract with the American voter begins with a plan to end government corruption and to take our country back from the special interests," Trump said to thousands of supporters.

Hillary Clinton will be in Raleigh at midnight Tuesday for a final ‘Get Out the Vote’ rally.

In the meantime, poll workers across the state are busy getting voting machines ready for the historic election.

But most voters in Mecklenburg County have already cast their ballot, including Erin Dugam.

"I wanted to be a part of history," Dugam told Channel 9.

Dugan is among more than 300,000 Mecklenburg County residents who have already voted.

"Those are the largest numbers that we've ever had vote early," said Michael Dickerson, Mecklenburg County's director of elections. He expects 170,000 more at the polls Tuesday, which would set another record.

Lines are to be expected. Some waited for hours during early voting. But voters say it's worth it; especially with presidential polls showing the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is virtually tied in North Carolina.

"My vote could be the difference between him and her," Dugam said.

Charlotte, and North Carolina as a whole, have played host to numerous campaign visits. Some local leaders say they're more worried about the day after the election.

"No matter who wins or who loses, we're in a difficult situation and people need to respect each other and we need to try to work together collaboratively to do what's best," Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham said.

There are 195 polling locations in Mecklenburg County. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday