CHARLOTTE, NC – As delegates and the party faithful gather here in Charlotte to nominate President Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for president, many eyes are focused on Ohio, even in North Carolina.

History shows that in order for President Obama to keep his job, he needs to win the Buckeye State. Only two Democrats have captured the White House without winning Ohio. Franklin D. Roosevelt did it in 1944 and John F. Kennedy pulled it off in 1960.

The latest Ohio Poll, conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati, found President Obama leading Mitt Romney 49 to 46 percent. President Obama’s former White House Press Secretary, now a top campaign adviser to President Obama, told NewsChannel5 that he isn’t surprised the two are running neck and neck.

“I think this race is going to stay pretty close for the next several weeks and I think it’s up to the president to have a strong debate performance come this fall and make sure the people understand who he is fighting for and also give a sense to the people of Ohio what Mitt Romney is fighting for,”  he said.

There are 191 Ohio Democratic Party delegates in Charlotte. One of the youngest is 21-year-old Jake Young. The Rocky River native is a senior at Ohio State University and attending his first convention.

“It’s a surreal experience. I always wanted to be a delegate since ’08. Being on the floor last night, it was unbelievable. All the excitement and all the behind the scenes that you don’t see on television,”  he said.

Former President Bill Clinton, who carried Ohio in 1992 and 1996, will deliver a prime-time speech tonight. He will formally place President Obama on the top of the party’s ticket.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not in Charlotte this week. She is traveling overseas.

Article Courtesy of WEWS NewsChannel 5