Paul Ryan heads to North Carolina as Dem convention opens

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan will hit the campaign trail in North Carolina Monday, as the Democratic National Convention is slated to kick off in the same state.

While Ryan's rally in Greenville will be more than 200 miles away from the convention site in Charlotte, the trip to the Tar Heel State is clearly designed to send a message.

"We will be talking about the number one issue for North Carolinians -- jobs," said Ryan spokesman Michael Steel.

Ryan is attempting the kind of counter-messaging that Vice President Biden had planned at the start of the Republican National Convention. Biden was planning to head to Tampa and then two other Florida cities, but had to cancel those plans because of Hurricane Isaac.

North Carolina is very much in play for the general election. The latest Real Clear Politics average of polls shows the state is a toss-up, with Mitt Romney and President Obama tied at 43 percent.

This will be Ryan's third trip to North Carolina since Romney tapped him to be his running mate on Aug. 11.