Dems bring in crowds by the busload to fill stadium for Obama speech
Convention delegates, volunteers and other Democratic officials already in Charlotte for the party gathering could make up as much as one-third of the crowd. But filling the rest of the stadium is a piecemeal process.
Elena Botella, a student at Duke University and president of the College Democrats of North Carolina, said her school was busing 100 students to the speech.
Lonnie Randolph, the president of the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP, said several large black churches in his state are planning to send busloads of members on Thursday to watch the president's speech.
Obama aides say several thousand tickets also have been given to new campaign volunteers in North Carolina. People who complete three volunteer shifts totaling nine hours got one ticket to the final speech.
The volunteer ticketing program also helps Obama boost his grassroots network in North Carolina, a battleground state he moved into the Democratic column in 2008 for the first time in nearly 40 years. But Obama is facing an uphill battle this time around in North Carolina, where the unemployment rate exceeds the national average and voters approved a gay marriage ban the day before the president announced his support for same-sex unions.
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