Energized Obama supporters prepare for 'difficult climb'

A capacity crowd packed the Obama campaign's Winston-Salem headquarters on West 4th Street during a grand opening this evening in which organizers urged volunteers to sign up for phone banking with neighborhood team leaders in Kernersville, east Winston-Salem and Lexington.

"In between now and the election we've got to persuade those who voted for Obama four years ago but [feel], 'Well, we didn't get everything we wanted," Jeannie Grimes, neighborhood team leader for Kernersville, told the enthusiastic crowd.

Grimes said the Obama campaign has been operating phone banks at least once a week in Forsyth County since last April.

Organizers made no attempt to downplay how critical North Carolina is to President Obama's reelection prospects. In 2008, Obama carried North Carolina by a razor-thin margin of 14,177 votes, or a 0.4 percent.

"I know we cannot take this state without this county," said Punya Krishnappa, Triad West regional field director, "without people like you working to reelect this president."

Jesse Moore, the Obama campaign's political director for North Carolina, underscored the point.

"Anybody that thinks this is going to be a cakewalk is dreaming," he said. "This is going to be a difficult, difficult climb and an uphill lift."

The event drew numerous Democratic candidates, including Rep. Bill Faison, who is seeking the party's nomination for governor, and Elisabeth Motsinger, who wants to unseat Republican Virginia Foxx as representative of the 5th Congressional District.

Other candidates at the event included Jimmie Bonham and Wayne Patterson, who are vying for NC House District 72; John C. Gladman and David W. Moore, who are seeking the party nomination in NC House District 74; Everette Witherspoon, a candidate in NC House District 71; James Taylor Jr., NC Senate District 32 candidate; Delmas Parker, who is running in NC Senate District 31; and Gail G. McNeill, running for Forsyth County Commission District B.

Rep. Bill Faison chats with Carissa Joines and Trent Harmon, members of congressional candidate Elisabeth Motsinger's campaign team.

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