The polls are tightening in North Carolina and Barack Obama’s lead seems to be dwindling just days before the primary there.
Not long ago, Mr. Obama was perceived to hold such an advantage that some Democrats here wondered whether Mrs. Clinton would bother to compete vigorously. But the candidates intensified their efforts in the final weekend — both appeared here on Friday evening — and Mr. Obama was eyeing a return on the eve of the election.
“This primary election on Tuesday is a game changer,” Mrs. Clinton told a crowd in Kinston. “This is going to make a huge difference in what happens going forward. The entire country — probably even a lot of the world — is looking to see what North Carolina decides.”
A North Carolina victory, Clinton advisors say “would qualify as their biggest upset in more than 40 primaries and caucuses held so far, given Mr. Obama’s early lead and his strong support among African-American voters.”
“If she carries North Carolina, she will get the nomination, and if she gets the nomination, she will be president of the United States,” Gov. Michael F. Easley, a Clinton supporter, said at a rally with Mrs. Clinton on Friday in Hendersonville.