North Carolina is amid an unusually intense and early presidential campaign -- with television commercials, the opening of campaign headquarters and the hiring of field staff taking place weeks before the national conventions.
Driving the activity has been Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, who has launched a major effort here.
"North Carolina has not traditionally been a battleground state," said Marc Farinella, a veteran consultant who recently arrived in Raleigh to take charge of the Obama effort in the state. "But this cycle, it is. We are going to work hard to win it. It's going to be a very, very strong and intensive campaign here.''
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