(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."
Vote for the guy with one house.
NC Voter- I think McCain's taking VA, NC, and IN for granted and that's why they're HEAVILY BLUE this year.
John McCain lost my vote after his nasty attacks against Sen. Obama.
Here's my comment: I'll be thankful when this race is over.
Now that McCain/Palin have gone 100% negative our MSM is losing focus taking about this nonsense. Get back to the issues that will affect all of us.
Are any of you aware about the 90 yr old woman who shot herself in the chest because she was losing her home? She will survive and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are going to let her keep her house when she gets out of the hospital.
By listening to and responding to all the negative stuff we lose focus on the issues.
There is no doubt that the RNC and John McCain are clear losers in this year.
Not only are McCain and Palin slinging the mud in every direction they have now resorted to "hate". They are trying to stir up hate crimes to support themselves. Sorry idiots!!
I'm sure Republicans across the country are figuring out a way to manually get McCain and Palin elected. I hope someone is watching the voting machines and of course chads!
It is very sad that this country is about to elect an individual who will turn us into a socialist state where we will have very few freedoms and must all live the Party line. You will either be a Democrat or left behind.
I could care less about the Economy at this point. If Obama wins we'll be living in a socialist state. Read the facts & put down the kool-aide. We want to see real journalists reporting about obama's ties to terrorists & racists. The real american people who love their country need to rise up against the main stream media and demand fair coverage of the truth about Obama! The future of this country depends on it! I'm glad Sarah Palin is willing to bring the issues of Obama's character to light and I hope John McCain does the same! It's not "turning the campaign negative" and it's not "smear tactics" Guess what. . . it's just telling the truth!
I don't know why so many are critizing Sarah Palin. Afterall, this chick has helped the OBAMA ticket pretty well. Send the lady some flowers!!
McCain and Palin need to focus more on answering "Who is the real John McCain".
whoever wins, we are as divided as ever and will be so easy to manipulate and abuse by the next administration. democrat or republican, you are about to get screwed. so don't use up all your energy hating on each other, you may need some for that second, or third job you'll have to get. MAKE NO MISTAKE, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ARE BOTH RESPONSIBLE AND NO PARTY IS INNOCENT IN THIS.
why are 95% of blacks voting for Obahma when he has such a radical leftist record ? Who are the racists?
This is my first presidential election, because I just turned 20 this year.
I was born and raised in North Carolina and I'm currently a student at uncc. I can honestly say that the new, young voter turnout is gong to be amazing. There's a sense of excitement among my campus, and also many other NC colleges I've visited recently. While I can't speak for all in my age group, I truly believe Obama/Biden is what the country needs and I think everyone is going to be surprised at the turnout of young voters here in NC (and across the u.s.!).
I think NC is still considered a "red" state here, but if all the new voters turn out like I think they will, Obama/Biden definitely have a shot at taking NC. Not only young voters are turning toward Obama either. I've spoken to a lot North Carolinians who normally vote Republican, who are starting to lean obama.
North Carolina (and America) is starting to see what ticket is truly the best for us right now–Obama/Biden.
Obama and Mc Cain in dead heat in N. Carolina and Mc Cain sent Sarah Palin there? I wonder why senator Mc Cain keeps making mistake. He should spend time reading the polls and the criticism that people wrote about Sarah. Everytime this Sarah Palin talks, I cannot stop laughing. I wonder why there are some people still listen to a person whom could not even name the news paper she reads? She keeps saying that she wants to talk straight to the American people because by doing that, she can just recite whatever she they told her to. Should we trust and out our economy into the hands of the lady whom could not even name a news paper? I am talking about a governor here, not a kindergarten who does not know how to read.
Even my son, a 6th grader, was laughing when he listened to Sarah Palin's answer about the newspaper.
To all who say Obama will disappoint, and not do anything, I still would rather have him in their than Mcsame, maybe its because of the last 8 years of a horrible Bush term, or even those 4 years under Bush1 where in 1991 the economy was in the toilet, just not this bad. Its funny how every time a bush is there our economy goes under. SO even if Obama does nothing can it really be worse than a Bush administration?
Three girls under the age of 17 need their mother. A downs syndrome baby needs his mother. Family first, then everything else afterwards. Don't say 'Why doesn't Obama stay home", because his daughters would feel uncomfortable talking to him about girlie subjects. It's not about what women want dummies, it's what children need.
McCain's judgment is TERRIBLE. He got the Iraq War totally wrong before it started and Obama was totally right. Now McCain didn't even select a VP who he can trust to answer reporter's questions. That shows his "America First" slogan is a complete lie.
She wanted to go to Nebraska just to go to Nebraska...
I'm from Nebraska and haven't been there in a long time. In fact I can't think of much of a reason to go there. Besides visiting my mom. There isn't much there. Why would she want to go to Nebraska? To give a speech? Come on...
They must be pretty worried if they are sending her to Nebraska. I can't think of the last time that Nebraska didn't vote Republican. It's been a Republican State for so long that I think the only time that Bush Jr. ever visited the state was when he went into to hiding after 9/11
They must be pretty worried.
I think that Palin is acting completely inappropriately for a person that is trying to be elected to the second highest national office.
Why don't they try to talk about what matters to the people instead for attacking peoples fears?
The senator from Arizona should be worried because Obama is kicking the McCain out of John!
Too bad McCain didn't chose a woman with a measurable IQ.
Never select someone for VP that you only met once and didn't thoroughly vet. I would be willing to bet the farm McSame didn't know Palin had a pregnant teenage daughter or son who was constantly in trouble, or that Palin couldn't give an interview and speak good English, or was under investigation. The reason we are not reading about Biden in the paper is because he was thoroughly vetted. All we have is that he used someone elses words once and did't footnote it. I bet many doctoral candidates have done the same. That is not interesting enough to read in the National Enquirer.
I am a service member of this country's fine military and have been for the last eight years coincidentally. Anyway, I have been watching these elections very close. I feel the slanderous and cut throat tactics of the McCain campaign appalling and desperate. When will he or his advisors realize that this is a campaign of policies and truly American lives are at stake at home and abroad. A failing economy and a demotivating war effort. I have spent some time in the Middle East, we as service members fight for our country, but more importantly we fight for each other, our brothers and sisters on our left and right. All this we do to get home to our families and so they can get home to theirs in one piece. I was fortunate enough to finally get home to mine but I know there are many more who want the same. Obama seems to have touch with all of us as service members and regular families, John "Maverick" McCain seems to lose himself in the amounting dollars wasted and rising death toll of our service men and women. His running mate as well needs to come down from her enchanted tower and really take a look around. America needs change, a new face, and a fresh start. This Republican ticket doesn't represent that. Any true patriot can see that, war hero, average man, the young and old. America and the world are ready for a new era.
The respect I had for John McCain is long gone.
Voting for OBAMA in Colorado.
McCain and Palin...Now that's risky and dangerous!!