(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."
mcnutts and sarah playin need to dress up as mummies for halloween cause it's a wrap..... he he he
CNN offers this venue for Obama supporters and lets a McCain supporter slip in a comment occasionally to try to appear neutral? How about slipping this one in. The demise of this nation is credited to those who love the ideology of the left and all the decadence that goes with it, ie: pre-marital sex, abortion, homosexuality, pornography, etc. We're going to hell in a hand-basket but what do they care? Many of them don't even acknowledge there is Hell. It will be a rude awakening when they arrive there.
Talk is cheap people, We are in it deep and no answers in sight from our candidates. You may be for one or the other but the truth will eventually smack you in the face and wake you up. The very best candidiate we could have had is in New York doing her job.
Palin is now pointing Shias as the enemy in Iraq. Bush invaded a Sunni regime in Iraq. That alone should be cause enough to make her stop, wonder and get the facts. She is a pitbull, yes, but pitbulls are not very trustworthy pets. Especially when their owner train them to be vicious.
Has somebody checked McCains record for judgement as an airplane pilot? It seems he damaged a few planes in incidents which were considered errors of judgement by the military...
The Keating episode also seems to be true...
The pitbull still doubts the heavy hand of man in this racing globalwarming...
I wonder what they are betting on... that they'll bring out the worst in people and win this election?
I would love to see the American people all over the country send a message that the games McCain is playing with our future are unacceptable. As a Utah Republican, I cannot bring myself to vote for McCain/Palin. I'm sure the redest of all states won't turn, but I for one would like to see it. I'm sick and tired of the attitude of most Republicans. I agree whole heartedly with the policies/platform, but sometimes it's more important to look at character and attitude. McCain's character and attitude are questionable at best. I think that these times call for a calm, quiet resolve, not hot-headed, antagonistic, rash decision making. McCain just always seems like he's pushing for a fight, simply for the sake of fighting. Sometimes we need to fight, but sometimes we need to step back. Hopefully in 4 years we'll nominate the right guy.
Lets hope Arizona comes in play to too
Obama is a white hating, anti-American terrorist just like Ayers, Rezco, and Wright. Take the time to read his book. It's very revealing. What the hell is wrong with all you Obamabots? The economy will sort itself out. Once the headlines die down McCain will go up in the polls. And then be voted in. McCain/Palin08
Change is coming to this great country and McPalin's lies wont work.
Watch McCain and Palin continue to attack Obama's character and distort his past. WHY – Becuase McCain/Palin don't have a plan to get this country back on the right track. OBAMA does.
Palin showing up on a college campus in eastern NC is hilarious. Does she not realize this is the very crowd that watches SNL and the Tina Fey parodies of Palin? These students will show up to laugh at Palin. She is too stupid to know what a joke she is to the people of NC. As Southerners, we don't like nasty politics to start with and even less when we already know what Palin says is a complete lie. She is only going to hurt McCain more being here. That's OK, it will just ensure NC goes BLUE for the first time in many years! NC voters know Palin is an ignorant and incompetent fool. Maybe Palin thinks Southerners will like her use of poor grammar and inability to speak in complete sentences. Sorry, Sarah, NC is a state with huge and prestigious colleges and we take education seriously here. We don't suffer fools – as in you and McCain. Are you and McCain going to lose NC this election – ya betcha (wink, wink)!
Anyone who needs to know where Obama's money is coming from...
I gave Obama $90 from my last paycheck. I can't afford to go to the doctor and I without a doubt can not afford McBush. McNasty and Palin should be ashamed to even look in the mirror.
I look at giving money to Obama as a patriotic duty given that he is the only candidate who actually cares about Americans.
OBAMA+AYERS+FARRAKHAN+REZKO+WRIGHTS=ISLAM, THAT IS THE "CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN". This great nation is not going to be great anymore, people are supporting racist and one of the few lines on Obama's book and is really bothering, "I WILL STAND WITH THE MUSLIMS SHOULD POLITIC WIND SHIFT IN AN UGLY DIRECTIONS." Is this really someone we can see as President in this country.
I know McCain is ready to attack tomorrow but Barack is nobody's fool. You think McSame was tense the first debate let's see how long he can fake it. I hope Barack goes for the jugular!!
Great move – Let the whole country see what an idiot she really is, up close and personal.
She'll look out over the Atlantic and claim she's been to Europe, because she looked in that direction.
What an airhead.
First, why does CNN only print pro Obama posts. Why is it the minute someone questions Obama on anything, they are called a racist, why can't the man answer a question without whining about race. It is so annoying, I don't doubt he is going to win, and I'm sick of it already. I wonder if someone doesn't say good morning to him, if he whines racism
When I see candidates smear and sling mud, I'm seeing how they're going to bully other nations and leaders. No wonder the United States is despised abroad.
Cambell Brown is about the most biased journalist I have ever seen.
Ask Sarah Palin, why she continues to sleep with the enemy, someone who does not want to be a part of the United States, that she is trying to be Vice President of. Be careful Sarah, when you try to dig a hole for someone, you usually fall into it yourself.
Thank God people can see through Palin for what she really is.
McCain must be kidding to pick her to be the next President of the USA–would you trust her to babysit your kids. Would you trust her with your teenage daughter?
Who actually thinks McCain can even live 4 more years at 72 years old with multiple cancers multiple times-
On CNN electorial map that show polls and status. Most of the RED states have not been polled since the first or second week of September. Most of the country has shifted in the forth week of September and the first week of October.
How many should be BLUE now. CNN show the real status
I'm an independent, and I cannot stand Palin and what she stands for.
Once upon a time, McCain was an interesting politician.
Obama is the only way to go. John McCain has showed he has no judgement. Who in his right mind would nominate Palin as his running mate? John Mc Cain should remember "when the shi-ite hits the fan the guy by the switch get's hit."
Texas, wake up, vote Obama/Biden in November.
A vote for Obama\Biden = 3 more months of Bush policies.
A vote for McCain\Palin = 8 more years of Bush policies.
He's no war hero, either.