From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:
CHICAGO -- Barack Obama heads to North Carolina today, as he kicks off a two week campaign swing intended to focus on the economy. In his speech today, Obama is expected to continue to draw parallels between John McCain's economic plan and George Bush's.
During the next two weeks, Obama will travel to states which typically do not vote for a Democratic presidential candidates in general elections. Although North Carolina has not voted for the Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976, the campaign is confident that they can put the state into play this year. They are counting on the vast grassroots organization that they built in the state during the primary contest, as well as Obama's appeal to students and African Americans. Obama beat Hillary Clinton in the North Carolina primary by a double digit margin.
Last week, Obama campaigned in Virginia, also considered a "red" - or Republican - state, and will make his way to the battlegrounds of Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida in the coming days. A campaign aide told CBS News that their strategy going forward to make Republicans work harder in states they could typically "check off" in previous elections, hence the trips to North Carolina and Virginia.