CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Swing states like North Carolina will be the key to this year's presidential election.
But winning over North Carolina voters is just one goal the Democrats hope to achieve at the Democratic National Convention this week.
Fighting for the South
The convention kicked off in Charlotte with the presidential race locked in a dead heat. It is the firs time a political convention has been held in the Carolinas in 150 years.
Democratic Party officials said their choice of Charlotte showed that they are fighting for the South this November.
Party leaders also believe success in North Carolina will spill over into Virginia which is another key battleground state.
Along with the pageantry and celebration of the convention, Democrats said they have a clear purpose in Charlotte.
The want to register voters and sign up scores of volunteers to help get out the vote in November because North Carolina is important to team Obama.
A Tough Sell
In 2008, even with the wind at his back, the president only won the state by 15,000 votes.
"It will be tight this year. I don't think it's going to be an easy state to win, but it is a state the president absolutely can win," Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said.
"He's got a ground force in North Carolina that is unrivaled, and Mitt Romney has spent millions and millions and millions of dollars in North Carolina and can't seen to get any distance." Foxx said. "I think that's an indication that this race is going to go all the way down to the wire."
Obama campaign officials said every speaker to take this stage at the convention will address how President Obama will build the economy from the middle class out.
Democrats also want to tell the story of where the president has been. They want to remind voters of the economic crisis he inherited.
First lady Michelle Obama made her case for her husband during her speech at the convention Tuesday night.
"We must once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward," she told the DNC crowd. "My husband, our president, Barack Obama."