Republican presidential candidate John McCain is asking his supporters to "fight for a new direction for our country."
McCain opened a town hall-style event Monday at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington with an impassioned speech in which he implored his supporters to make history. Trailing in national polls, the event was McCain's first public appearance in North Carolina since May.
His rival, Democratic candidate Barack Obama, has visited North Carolina several times, and polls indicate the race is now a tossup in a state that hasn't voted for a Democrat in three decades.
McCain's speech appealed to both the future of the country and the future of his campaign as he told the crowd, "Don't give up. Be strong. Have courage and fight."