Dole No-show At McCain N.C. Rally

An estimated 7,000 admirers -- many of them vets from Ft. Bragg -- welcomed John McCain to Fayetteville, N.C. today.

Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole, in the fight of her career against Democrat Kay Hagan, wasn't one of them.

Dole and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is also facing a tough battle back home in Kentucky, haven't exactly clamored to be seen alongside their party's nominee -- despite the fact that McCain is close to Barack Obama in N.C. -- and leads him in Kentucky.

One possible explanation: Cumberland County, N.C. went narrowly for George W. Bush in the last two elections, but has a large African-American population galvanized by Obama's candidacy.