(CNN) - The McCain campaign announced Sarah Palin is set to make a stop in North Carolina Tuesday night, two days after the Republican VP candidate stumped in Nebraska - two reliably red states that haven't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in at least three decades.
Palin's most recent travel schedule is the latest indication Barack Obama and the nation's ailing economy have put John McCain on the defensive, even in states where the prospect of a Democratic win was unthinkable only four years ago.
Palin's visit to North Carolina comes as most recent polls of the state show Obama and McCain essentially in a dead heat there. A CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation poll of North Carolina last month showed the candidates dead even, while some recent polls have even suggested a slight Democratic lead. CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation will release a new North Carolina poll Tuesday morning.
Election Center: Check out the latest state polls
Then there’s the unknown variable of an anticipated rise in turnout in the African-American community. In 2006 that voting bloc made up 26 percent of North Carolina's electorate, with 85 percent voting for Sen. John Kerry. Obama is expected to win an even higher percentage of the black vote this cycle, with a higher expected turnout as well.
"The North Carolina of today is far more diverse than the North Carolina of twenty or even ten years ago," CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib said. "The state’s changing economy has attracted thousands of new voters willing to pull the lever for a Democratic nominee. Second, the state’s sizable African-American voting bloc is extremely energized by Obama’s candidacy. Third, the economic downturn has made Tar Heel voters — just like voters in the rest of the country — much more receptive to the Democratic message of change."
Palin's appearance in the state comes more than five months after McCain held his last public event there, delivering a speech in early May at Wake Forest on his vision for judicial appointments. The event came the same day as Indiana and North Carolina's Democratic primaries and was largely overshadowed by the still-ongoing battle between Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton.
McCain-Palin spokesman Ben Porritt said Monday the campaign remains confident the Republican ticket will carry the state.
"This is a state that Barack Obama has put millions of dollars into," he said. "This is an opportunity to speak to our supporters there and makes sure they turn out."
Porritt also declined to say whether McCain has any plans to visit North Carolina before Election Day.
The North Carolina visit comes after Palin traveled to Nebraska's Second Congressional District Sunday, prompting pundits to speculate the McCain campaign is worried the Obama could peel off an electoral vote there. Nebraska, like Maine, awards its electoral votes by the winner of each congressional district, and the second district - which includes Omaha and its surrounding areas - is the most Democratic.
But Palin told Nebraska voters Sunday she was not visiting the state because the campaign was worried about a possible loss there.
“The pundits today on TV—one of them was saying, check out the vice president’s schedule, check out where she’s going—she’s going to Nebraska,” she said. “But the pundit was saying the only reason she’d be going there is ‘cause they’re scared, so they got to go there and shore up votes. And I wanted to reach into that TV and say no, I’m going to Nebraska because I want to go to Nebraska."
McCain and Palin are just making fools of themselves now.
OBAM/BI in 2008!
People, this thing is so close to being over you can taste it. RCP just came out with new numbers for Missouri. BHO recent poll showed him up by 3 points in the show me state. With a avg of up by .3. RCP can't find a battleground state where BHO s not leading.
Supporters of Obama we need to keep up the fight, dont let up, make sure you vote. Take the high ground as we have watched BHO do this for all these months. Everyone must VOTE.
Don't be discouraged as BHO swings back on all this gutter politics coming his way. He has to do it or else. He must fight back and we must support him in his fight with McSane's gutter politics.
Whatever you do dont think this thing is over. Fight for BHO ever day, every hour. FIGHT for our country. We will succeed on Nov 4 becasue we are right and BHO is right for this country.
KEEP UP THE FIGHT ! DONT LET UP !
Anybody who supports McCain/Palin are a disgrace to the human species. Not only are these 2 people useless, they are liars, thieves and totally useless. They should be forced to donate their organs to people who can really use them. Nobody would miss these two! McCain supporters, go to HELL!
Bs, you're a typical, ignorant Obama supporter. I work for Social Security.
Excuse me, guy that is smarter than me...thats a joke right..CNN, and most of the MSM have not answered the questions millions are demanding to know about Obama..Its all sugar-coated and glossed over. You can not be that smart if you can not see the problem here. CNN and others are not doing their jobs.
Palin is doing a great job and we love her here in the midwest. As far as Obama I think McCain struck a nerve about Obama's radical life style. Myself being a democrat the only choice is McCain because Obama has a cult like personality and is dangerous for this country..
Maybe Palin should respond in tongues.
Only to! Akila the Hun,,,,
OBAMA BABY, OBAMA
Gov Palin= "AIP" convention video in 2000
Love Palin here in the midwest....
McLosers are all but beat, she, as a Christian woman, is dispicable with the lies she spreads. The truth? they are scared of Obama, particulary his skin color. What they don't realize is that McLosers are going to lose because we see their ignorance. Go ahead, lie some more, both of you, we already know you can't talk about the issues, too tough, huh?? This is the BIG TIME, a masters course, Sarah and War Hero. You shouldn't have been in Hanoi anyway. Go call your good friend Keating for some more finanacial advice on how to ruin a country...
"Palin schedule shows McCain on the defensive?"
Why do you bother to ask the question?
Mavericks don't answer questions!
This will be my first time voting in a presidential election and i know that when i walk into that voting booth on Nov 4th and voting for Obama will be a very proud moment for me. This man is what this country needs for now and the future and i am proud to vote and support Obama/Biden for president and everyone who is with me i thank you for your vote and making my future better.
After hearing and seeing Palin, I know now that McCain has lousy judgement.
McCain is starting to show his true colors. He has a bad temper and from what I understand he can dish it out but he can't take the heat. Mad???? MAd????, MAD!!!!! WOW. Where is his life saver? Oh yes she is heading out to do his doggonit wink wink, Joe 6 pack, folksie talkin script, that she uses colorful Q cards to know which way to go...
Obama, people see the daggars coming out in Palin. we ALL know what is in this win for her. Mccain, I would watch my back. well maybe not..
Erratic aka insane and second gear Sarah are getting a pretty bumpy ride trying to act like politicians, Go back to Alaska where the people there are fruitcakes like you, Please do not try to teach teenagers about sex. your results apparently do not work.
McCain/Palin: ALL NEGATIVE ALL THE TIME....
What a team of pathetic losers...
who is the Real John McCain
Connection to convicted Watergate felon G. Gordon Liddy
Connection to An extremist who hates blacks and Jews John Singlaud
Connection to 1980/90's S&L Scandal though Keating 5
Connection to now-convicted Italian con man
Connection to shady Russian oligarchs to take over the economy of Montenegro
Selection of Sara Palin as running mate who is involved in obstruction of justice and abuse of power investigation trooper gate
Selection of Rick Davis a wealthy lobbyist who got paid from Fannie Mae
Decision to go negative in this campaign
Decision to pretend to Suspend Campaign.
Senate Voting Record Against GI Bill and Other spending for medical services.
Senate Voting Record Against Women’s Issues like Maternity leave and Birth Control
Senate Voting record Against Minimum wage increases
Senate Voting Record against Children’s Healthcare.
Senate voting record against public education reform.
Senate Voting Record 90% with GW bush
OS, another bright Obama supporter...NOT!
Voter Registration NC
Early voting starts Oct. 16. My family (7 people) will be voting for McCain Oct. 16 (We're all Independent)
I can understand Scary Sarah being confused by the facts since she has been up in the frozen tundra but, Old John sure seems to be showing signs of Alzheimers.
The McCain campaign seems be be wandering around flip flopping and then changing direction looking for something?
Could it be that the Old skipper has finally lost it under the pressure of this campaign?
Having recognized that she is incompetent to discuss any of the real issues in this election as a VP, Palin is trying to be useful by talking about issues that rose and fell during the primary season, namely Jeremiah wright, terrorist affiliation, and others; just like a dog that is chewing over discarded dry bones trying to find substance out of them. And all she is doing is repeating things that were already said, analyzed, balanced and found irrelevant. Oh! poor pitiful governor girl.
Sarah, Sarah, Sarah... your ambition is bigger than your brain.