(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."
Yes but I am sure CNN will go out of their way to be fair and balanced!! Yawn...
Since Obama won't answer a lot of questions about his background, SOMEONE needs to be asking. The MSM certainly won't , since they are big-time in the bag for Obama. And that goes for you too, CNN – who will print nasty pro-Obama comments but not mine when I am at least being civil and truthful.
A vote for Obama\Biden = 3 more months of Bush policies.
A vote for McCain\Palin = 8 more years of Bush policies.
Who is Obama? What are his policies? They're all posted on his web site, clearly accessible to every American.
Who is McCain? What are his policies? Haven't seen them posted on his web site... or anywhere. Does anyone know what his policies are to turn around our economy???
Voted for Bush '00
Voted for Bush '04
NO VOTE for McCain '08
Sorry, McCain, but you gotta step it up. I don't want to hear any negative attacks on Obama, I want to hear what YOU are offering!
if mccain and his running mate would read the news, they wouldn't even vote for their selves.
All Americans should be upset and offended by latest developments in the presidential campaign. The tactics employed by the Mccain campaign have already proven to be irresponsible, ill-advised and divisive. Sen. Barack Obama was called a terrorist at a Mccain rally in NM and there was a call out to kill him at a Palin rally in FL. To my dismay, the republican ticket did not address these serious breaches of conduct to make their positions clear.
How can the republican ticket be so reckless as to inducing such dangerous altitudes on a potential commander-in-chief? It is very understandable that Mccain wants to win the election, but to have 'kill him' and 'terrorist' callouts on a potential commander-in chief is a serious National security issue.
As late as it is, I think the republican ticked should explain their position and apologize to the American people. This is Hideous. To say that Mccain may not have heard the 'terrorist' callout is a lie because its clear on his face that he heard everything loud and clear.
What is the history of govenors in Arizona as in Mitchell? Any connections with Senator McCain?
How about special funds for research to Universities in Alaska and others to go to Alaska for research? Favors?
Developers were connected to the Lincoln Savings and Loan. The Phoenician. A canadian investor had the same finacial adviser that was never punished. Canavest Realty and Development company.
What is the story of the Arabic ownership now? Who is silently hiding and walking the halls and or grounds on this hotel?
Who has private planes and or connections in the USA and other wise for landing and take off of small planes that would attack? One of the videos of Osama Bin Laden appeared to be near a park in AZ and another near an airport of the same region.
Yahoo's electoral vote has Obama 341 McCain 164. Of the 33 electoral votes they don't show Obama would get 23 of those.
Mike Pellegrino, you've obviously been force-fed your diatribe.
Cnn keeps mentioning the black vote for Obama.....................so who is talking race now?
Its sad that the african american vote will go to obama..only because of his skin color.
we should vote for the man, not color,
McSame is a vile human being who can not even run a reputable and functionally sound campaign. HE failed to form a strategy and is solely relying on false claims and tactics. IS THIS NOT THE SAME THING WE WENT THROUGH WITH BUSH NOT BEING HONEST ABOUT THE WAR AND NOT BEING PROPERLY PREPARED OR HAVING A SOUND STRATEGY NOT BASED ON LIES.... MCSAME REALLY IS BUSH ONLY MUCH OLDER AND I BELIEVE EVEN MORE STUPID IF THAT IS POSSIBLE... WE DO NOT NEED ANOTHER 4 YEARS OF STUPIDITY..
Obama voted more for Bush policies than McCain did.
Can't wait until McPalin get their lying behinds kicked and for grandpa McCain to retire and Palin to go back to Alaska to keep an eye out for Putin.
free healthcare, free college tuition, lower taxes, barney frank, chris dodd, chuck schumer, nancy pelosi, harry reid – life is good.
Will the moderator post even a mild good comment on the side of the republicans, if one only says good job MacCain, and Palin, you need to fix everything, before the Democrates tax the hell out of everyone.
can any Obama supporter tell me how all your name calling and hate is going to unite the country. Why is it you are all so angry at anyone who has a different opinion than you. I'm voting third party, I don't care for either candidate. I was a democrat before Obama, but his votes for FISA, the Cheney Energy Bill, and eight present votes on issues pertaining to a woman's right to choose, make me realize he is not for me. He lied about public financing, and faith based initiatives. He flip flopped on drilling, the surge and gun control. Those are facts, and they go against the principles I believe in, so I have a right not to vote for him, I'm an American, and we still have that choice. Would you stop your hate, vote for who you want. If you want hope and change, and hate is the only way you can get it, well that is sad, and pathetic. I'm voting for who I want, and you go ahead and vote for who you want, just stop with the name calling. Obama supporters are really some of the most hate filled people I have ever seen. Is that what Obama stands for, because it sure looks like it reading your ugly posts.
Palin is the best at being the worst
McCain and Palin would be thrown in jail in most countries for their spew of hatred and lies.It is the most disrespectful campaign of hate I have ever seen and has no place in these economical times.Americans need to stand up and say they wont stand for this hate and fraud while suffering.The economy will not rebound as long as McCain Palin have a chance of winning the race.The most dangerous times are ahead if these two folls win the Whitehouse.You all better be thankful that you have a better choice.Palin needs to be in jail and McCain can retire in complete disgrace.
GOP has no chance in North Carolina (too many disenfranchised) and Virginia (too many educated) .
I hope McBush and showgirl do the country a favor and waist all their time campaigning there.
This is not a time to listen to lies. Our country is hurting, we need solutions. We all need to live it this country. John McCain is too old for this he should be setting examples, not being a part of the problem.
Sarah Palin will be back in 2012. She's only 44 and will be a powerhouse in politics for the next 20 years.
She's a model for my daughters-Mayor, Governor, Member Alaskan Oil and Gas commission, Candidate for VP, all by the age of 44 and all while raising 5 kids. What a woman.
Tina Fey is cute but Sarah is gorgeous. We love her now and we'll love her more in 2012 and 2016'.
Combat Vet ""I can't image a president who is friends with a terrorist. I can't image a president with the name of Hussein. I can't imagine a president with no experience.
What is happening.
The economy is not McCain's fault. McCain can turn the economy around while Obama is going to put us deeper in by raising our taxes and giving a speech.
YOU DONT HAVE TO IMAGINE George Walker Bush, and bin-liden were friends, so was he with Hussein: On second thought, just put your self in the place of a black person, Our presidents WERE Terriost, They had Slave Master's names. get over it!
of course this wont be posted, but you read it
GIdget Goes on Tour
The gidget half of Geezer&Gidget made an appearence this morning across the street from my office in Clearwater. ON Friday, the GOP said they expected upwards of 30,000!
Well, it didn't quite come off as expected. At best only 2,000 showed up and a good portion of those were paid or upaid volunteer cheerleaders.
After spreading her vile lies, she was off to Fort Myers. Bottom line...Florida is +7% for Obama
The more you talk, the deeper the hole.
I AM NATIVE AMERICAN AND IF YOU TOLD ME I WOULD BE VOTING FOR A BI-RACIAL MAN FOR PRESIDENT I WOULD TOLD YOU YOU ARE NUTS. NOW THAT THE MC CAIN BUNCH HAS ABSOLUTLY TURNED MY STOMACH I AM A DIED IN THE WOOL DEMOCRAT READY TO VOTE FOR OBAMA AND ALL THE OTHER DEMS ON THE TICKET. YOU CAN THANK MC CAIN BUT ESPECIALLY HIS LAP WITCH PALIN. GO O AND JOE