From CBS News' John Bentley:
(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) – John McCain is playing defense today, with rallies in two states that were thought, until recently, to be squarely in the Republican column on Election Day, North Carolina and Virginia. The last Democrat North Carolina voted for was Jimmy Carter back in 1976, and the last time Virginia went blue was for Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Economic worries have been the main reason North Carolina has become a swing state. Unemployment has risen for the past four months, culminating with a 7% unemployment rate in October, which is about a point higher than the national rate. The banking and furniture businesses, economic mainstays of the state, have been especially hard hit.
In Virginia, Barack Obama has held more than three time the events there than McCain since this summer, and it's paid off: Obama is up by more than 8 points in several polls there.