Are Sens. Clinton and Obama fighting hard for North Carolina?

Earlier this week, columnist Rob Christensen suggested that the Democratic presidential hopefuls were largely bypassing the state, given that the result -- an Obama victory -- is considered a foregone conclusion:

While this was once seen as a possible make-it-or-break-it state in the Democratic presidential nomination fight, it seems increasingly likely that the candidates will be paying more attention to Indiana, which also holds its primary May 6. [...]

North Carolina's second-fiddle status is already evident. Obama and Clinton have each spent only one day in North Carolina this month. The state Democratic Party canceled a debate proposed for Raleigh on Sunday after Obama declined to participate.

The Clinton campaign didn't get that memo, reports the Wall Street Journal -- they're pouring millions of dollars into the state to keep the contest close:

[Clinton] is widely expected to lose North Carolina's Democratic presidential primary on May 6, but that isn't stopping her campaign from spending millions of dollars on advertising and holding rallies in dozens of communities throughout the state.

Clinton wants to avoid the kind of blowout loss to Sen. Barack Obama she suffered in South Carolina in January. She is trying to demonstrate the breadth of her support to Democratic elected officials and other superdelegates who will sway the decision on the party's nomination.

Obama is responding in kind: he'll be leading a major rally at the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill this coming Monday.

It appears North Carolina is still very much a hot battleground.

(H/T Political Wire)