President Barack Obama's two-day campaign swing through Florida begins with a Thursday afternoon event at the Prime Osborn Convention Center -- an event that generated a lot of excitement among Jacksonville Democrats.
"I think north Florida provides a lot of different opportunities for us," said Ashley Walker of the Obama campaign. "As a campaign, we will be trying for each and every vote."
Leaders of both parties agree that traditionally conservative northeast Florida is important in this presidential election.
"Historically, it has gone Republican, which offsets the Democratic vote in South Florida," said state Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry. "We saw in 2008, President, then Sen. Obama, get pretty close in Duval. He got I think 48 or 49 percent of the vote. We need to win by a pretty significant margin to carry the state of Florida."
Florida State College at Jacksonville political science professor Marcella Washington says this conservative part of the state is Mitt Romney's to lose.
"Romney still needs some fire in the belly. He has got to get his troops out there and his voter motivated. He has not done that yet," Washington said. "I think Obama has to do some more work as well to motivate."
University of North Florida Political Science Professor Dr. Matthew Corrigan says its just a matter of turn out.
"If President Obama somehow takes Duval County, the state's over," he said. "There's very little question. If Obama wins Duval County, he's going to win the state. If he wins the state, he's most likely going to win the presidency."
Mr. Obama will be in Jacksonville on Thursday to try and secure those votes. Corrigan said if President Obama does well, then presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney may have to start relying on other counties like Nassau, St. Johns, Clay and Baker in order to get Florida's support.
Obama's 1:15 p.m. Thursday rally will be free, but tickets are required. Lines of people wanting tickets formed Tuesday morning -- hours before they were released at noon at five locations, including the Obama For America-Florida Jacksonville Office, the Duval County Democratic Office, the University of North Florida Student Union, Jacksonville International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Nassau County Democratic Club.
The campaign said most of the tickets were gone by 5 p.m. and that any remaining tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the downtown OFA office at 608 N. Julia Street. Viewers who arrived there Wednesday morning tell Channel 4 they were told that all tickets were gone.
News4Jax.com will stream live coverage of the Thursday's campaign event.
Jacksonville will be Obama's first stop of two days of campaign events in Florida, with a stop planned Thursday evening in West Palm Beach and in Fort Myers and Orlando on Friday.
The Romney campaign couldn't confirm the next appearance for their candidate in Northeast Florida, but said they will aggressively campaign across the state.
"They're bringing a street fight to this and it's my intention to not sit on the sidelines and play nice. We're going to bring it right back to him," Curry said.