The Democratic National Convention opens tonight in Charlotte. First Lady Michelle Obama will be the headline speaker tonight and the keynote address will be given by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. However, the Democrats aren't alone in North Carolina as some major Republican players plan to spend time in the battleground state this week as well.

FOX News Radio's Rich Johnson, Jared Halpern and Jessica Rosenthal report:

From America's Election Headquarters.

I'm Rich Johnson at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. So what are Democrats doing in a right-to-work state that struck down gay marriage?

(Foxx) "The President won North Carolina in 2008, the first Democrat to win North Carolina in 32 years."

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx says the President has a special affinity for the Tarheel State. But a 2008 repeat could be tough, as North Carolina has been leaning to Romney in recent polls. Democrats hope this week will change that.

I'm Jared Halpern in Washington. President Obama continues his pre-convention road to Charlotte tour today in Norfolk, Virginia.

The market overlaps two states considered must-wins by both campaigns, Virginia and North Carolina.

Last month Mitt Romney introduced his running mate Paul Ryan in Norfolk.

Paul Ryan was here in North Carolina yesterday. In fact other Republicans plan to be here in Charlotte all week to counter the Democrats message. RNC Chairman Reince Preibus says the President will be on defense.

(Preibus) "It will be a stark contrast from the Barack Obama of 2008."

The GOP will be focusing on this question: Are you better off today than you were four years ago?

In Charlotte, Jessica Rosenthal, FOX News Radio.

WATCH to learn more on the first night of the DNC:

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