(WILMINGTON, DEL.) - Joe Biden swings into North Carolina and Florida today – two battleground areas where polls show the race is tight between Barack Obama.
Splitting his day between the states, Biden campaigns in Greenville and Greensboro, North Carolina, where Obama holds a small single digit lead in the polls. Biden then heads to New Port Richey for the start of a three day tour in Florida, where polls last week showed Obama ahead by seven points (St. Petersburg Times), yet some still have McCain edging ahead by a point (NBC/Mason-Dixon).
In Florida, Obama has seen numbers rise since the end of September, but the margin has become smaller in the last two weeks according to averages from RealClearPolitics. McCain enjoyed a healthy bump in the polls following the Republican National Convention, but those have tapered off to the same average McCain had during the early summer.
Earlier this month, Biden held a bus tour through Florida and hosted several fundraising events, one of which he appeared at alongside Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., in Naples. Biden jokingly "blamed" Nelson for being picked as Obama's running mate.
"If you have anyone to blame for me being on the ticket, blame Bill Nelson. Because Bill Nelson, God love him, six months ago started telling Barack, 'You gotta pick Joe, you gotta' - I kept saying, 'Bill shut up. Don't tell him that, don't do that.' But I want to now thank you, Bill, and I appreciate it. But I want you to know, any mistakes I made it's because Bill recommended me," said Biden.
Biden has used past trips to Florida, where he attracts many Jewish voters to rallies, to talk about his support for the country of Israel and denounce the Holocaust.
As he does in every state he travels to, Biden points out high foreclosure and unemployment rates as a way of reminding voters to focus on the economy over the attacks of his opponent.
In North Carolina, where Biden campaigned last week, he played up NASCAR references to his supporters.
"I know NASCAR is big in North Carolina. And to use the parlance, to use NASCAR parlance for those of you who are NASCAR fans, we've been trading a little paint with the McCain, with the McCain-Palin ticket lately. And, uh, and quite frankly, uh, John's been driving a little loose lately," said Biden last week at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
His first event begins in Greenville this morning at 10:30am at East Carolina University.