(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 has brought all oif this down on himself...
Obama carefully chooses a VP who compliments his strengths and build a well rounded ticket.
McCain, picks a VP for the sole purpose of brining in the female vote. The whole idea has backfired and truth be told, is insulting to all women.
McCain has been his own worst enemy in the judgment category.
to all obama supporters – watch hannity's obama & friends – history of radicalism, it might change your mind esp finding out obama caused the $700B bailout
Bayou Joe, you are an idiot. You have stated a bunch of conservative lies about Obama. His life is and has been an open book since he started his run for president. Trust me, if there was something truly wrong with him, we would know it. You can't just make stuff up. In real ife what you have said would be called liable.
It's over Palin/McCain... you two are history. Bye now, don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you.
Palin is the one to talk about character. She of all people who is currently under investigation of abusing her power. Something we don't need with Wall St taking us "simple minded" people to the cleaners. And McCain with the Keating 5. He's straight up guilty, just manage to bribe whoever into keeping it under wraps for him. That is the poorest of judgement and still ran with those same polices that helpef further caused the problem today. For the Repug supporters, what the hell you guys smoking? It's obvious you guys want to continue with corrupt people running the Washington. At least Obama hasn't been under any investigation. I'm not saying he's perfect, but at least he managed not to get caught.
Palin/McCain ticket – Never
This is the most disgusting ticket to come along in a long while. I notice they want to people to vote more on fear than any legitimae policy they are putting out.
We in North Carolina love the color blue, including Obama/Biden blue! Avoid the crowds on election day and vote early–my family did.
Everything about the McCain campaign is screaming "DESPERATE!"
Palin in Omaha Nebraska trying to grab a single electoral vote? Resurrecting the Ayers non-issue and the Rev Wright fear factor?
Watch the debate tomorrow and wait for that sleazy, cheesy grin McCain can't control when he knows he's playing dirty....maybe I'll shoot back a shot everytime I feel the hair on my arms stand up at McCain's snarmy responses?
Working everyday, all day to deliver Florida to Obama – we can, will will.
Palin has simply has shown the American people that she a serious nut case that will lie, cheat, and sin against GOD
I believed that you did have a half a brain, and address the real issues, unemployment, marketplace downfall, international concerns.
You need help mentally
You journalist and media reporters, DO YOUR JOB! Report about who Obama is....
He is a Washington outsider and just because he talks nice and is confident doesn't him make him right for America.
The media shapes public opinion....
Protectionism + Higher Taxes = Depression
That's the same approach that Hoover took and it's the same approach that Obama plans to take...
Of course it's likely that CNN won't even publish this as they're mostly socialists and communists anyway.
Can't comment on the proper post, but that other picture of Sarah with her husband, those eyes look scary, like a lizard.
It's time to wake up and smell the coffee david how much worse can it really get? Or are you a part of the few rich still left in this country. Go ahead vote for Mc Cain then at least we will all know who to blame the 100 year war in Iraq!!!!!!!!!!
IT WILL NOT BE STOPPED
Sarah Palin please keep on with your hateful, ignorant & racist comments about Barack Obama. It seems to be helping his campaign immensely. Oh and Sarah, PLEASE take all the other ignorant Americans with you back to Alaska.
John McCain is a pile of crap. Coming from a man who cheated on his wife, I would expect nothing more. Why arent we talking about that???
CF If you are sick of CNN just go to FOX it's much more "fair and balanced" if you are voting for McSame.
Okay, enough is enough. When his campaign incites cries of "kill him" it is time for McCain to apply the brakes.
CNN – it is up to you and the rest of the media to make him stop before some nut case takes it seriously.
I wish someone (Obama's camp)would bring up Palin's spouses relationship with the guy who wanted Alaska to leave the US as well as her relationship with her minister who was from Africa and condemmned a woman who he said was a witch and he "prayed" over her so that she wouod get elected as govenor of Alaska.
BREAKING NEWS: POST TURTLE
"While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old rancher, who's hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid.
The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Palin is a 'Post Turtle".
Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'post turtle' was.
The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle'.
The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain. 'You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dummy put her up there to begin with'."
She should start attacking the voters. Republicans seem to think attacks and violence speak louder than strong moral character.
What's the use of these two. McCain just stated he's 'giving up' on his campaign and devoting the rest of his run toward attacking Obama.
If he has already given up on his chances of getting into office then he doesn't belong there. McCain and Palin are not leaders this country can stomach. We've learned that from the last eight years.
It's so fun to see the arrogance and smugness that used to dominate the Republican party wither.
Sorry folks; OBAMA/BIDEN will win this election. If you are even THINKING about voting MCCAIN/PALIN; stay home and save the gas. America is tired of the crap from Republicans. ALL you ever hear from them are empty promises!! We know the truth and trust BIDEN/OBAMA. I would be scared to elect MCCAIN/PALIN to head the local Wal Mart, let alone the country. GO OBAMA/BIDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!
They are losing and trying to come up with anything. That air head Palin can't help you by those weak attacks, Do you think that Rev Wright is going to help me full up my tank at the gas station? This is just to let you know that I am not losing any sleep over these issues, I am worrying about my saving do you have any ideas?
Gov. Palin, The Wicked Witch of The North, and Unfit Hockey Mom!
Calling A Sitting United States Senator as Palling Around With Terrorist was ignorant and careless!
You Will Not Flirt Your way into The White House!