Republicans redoubled their efforts here after President Obama took the state in 2008, but 35 days until Election Day, the polls here are still too close for comfort for Mitt Romney.
When it comes to North Carolina, Republicans concede Romney has no choice but to win.
"If he loses North Carolina, I think it's over," said Republican strategist Ballard Everett. "He's got to win North Carolina."
The stakes are higher for Romney in this once reliably Republican state. Romney spent much of the year leading in the polls here, but over the last several weeks, President Obama has bounced back deploying more resources.
Tuesday's visit to Charlotte and Asheville made for Vice President Joe Biden's sixth visit to the state this year.
"Clearly Obama wants to force Romney to play here in North Carolina and spend his resources," said Democratic strategist Brad Crone.
With the fourth highest unemployment rate in the country, the Romney camp has spent months pinning the economy on the president. But is it sticking?
The latest polls show Romney running neck and neck with the president among North Carolinians.
Everett thinks voters are still struggling to relate to the Republican nominee.
"He's a very smart man -- would make a good president -- but just hasn't connected to a lot of people," said Everett.
"What you're seeing is a solidification of white voters in suburban counties move toward the president and support his campaign," said Crone.
Early voting in the state begins Oct. 18.