(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."
Is it possible the GOP fixed the primaries to make sure their least electable candidate showed up to be trounced, blame it all on him (a la John Kerry 2k4) and try again as the party out of power when the storm of their creation slams the dem pres elect from day one? Hell, maybe we even get to see a (official) Palin run in 2012...
Palin went to Nebraska cos she wanted to go to Nebraska? Right. Not because there are votes to be won there? Does this mean she's given up campaigning?
Im afraid to say but I think the repubs has lost their grip. I seen this coming with this economy. You know McCain and Palin dont know what it feels like to get hired on to a job and get laid off the next week. They dont know what it feels like to go to work everyday and not knowing whether you job will be shutting down the next day. We need somebody who is going to turn this economy around and make this place the strong hold it was. When gas went over $2.00 back in 2002 i knew this was coming. It was either food, gas, or mortgage. I feel like they (republicans) dont care about the common man anymore. They should have left Wall Street alone and let them use their expertise on the market.
I wonder if scientists can pinpoint the exact moment in time that John McCain went from being an honorable person and senator to being a low-life piece of garbage that would stoop so low as to spread outright lies. And using Sarah Palin to do it makes it no more honorable, Senator.
Attention Red States: time to sell McSAME & PALIN. That stock is taking a nose dive. Buy up plenty of OBAMA & BIDEN. O&B has a bright future and will lead the country out of the Republican-created recession.
Why won't Palin ever talk about the issues?
All she does is attack Obama.
Palin's husband has agreed to answer written questions in the state Legislature's investigation. What is up with that? We now have choices in how investigations proceed forth. Talk about ABUSE OF POWER. WELL FOLKS THIS IS IT.
I CHALLENGE EVERY AMERICAN WHO HAS A PENDING CASE TO TRY WHAT PALIN AND HER DIRTY POLITICAL FRIENDS ARE DOING IN THIS INVESTIGATION AND SEE HOW FAST YOU WILL BE SENT TO JAIL WITHOUT BAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
John McCain has abandoned his stolen message of change. hummm?
Barack Obama is the agent of CHANGE. Together, we all win.
if you don't support Obama, just don't vote, then you won't have any guilt when McCain doesn't win.
flat tire, too much work, had to wash your hair.
whatever the reason, just stay home if you are wasting your vote on John McSAME.
we can't afford 8 more years of this MESS>!
Barack Obama will be an amazing president.
I'm truly ashamed to say that I live in N.C.
Did you notice:
When McCains talks about the economy, all he says: " I KNOW WHAT TO DO '
Yes John McCain, we all know what you did in the past and you failed on all of your vital decisions.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH John McCain, we seen all your miserable aaccomplishments.
Take a hike John McCain.
Obama for President.
At one time I respected McCain, but no longer. I find him terrifying, more than anyone labeled a terrorist.
The thought of a President Palin is the final straw for me. I'm voting for Obama.
North Carolina will turn blue, just like Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire and every other battleground state.
America is waking up and will not vote for another 4 years of the same.
Incredible! Who is going to fill in the blanks for him,,, McCains lawyers.
This guys are just mean and so is the repub party.
I am losing money in my 401k,, just profusely bleeding and Palin wants to talk about Ayers. I don't care what Ayers did in the 60s, I just want to know who going to help the economy or we are all going down.
I am an Obama supporter, but I still believe in the adage "Never underestimate the stupidity of Americans.
Please keep in mind, this is the same nation that voted for Bush again even after he got us into a war and folks were already starting to lose jobs and money. Average people tend to put more energy into being jealous of intelligence and vision. They know they lead best, but to admit it would be like saying they know they aren't good enough to do it, too.
Nice to read the polls, but I don't trust them.
It seems like Palin is getting a little bit overconfident now.
She said: "I’m going to Nebraska because I want to go to Nebraska."
She should have said: "I'm going to Nebraska because I am a MAVERICK"! LOL
I am a white republican from Virginia and Obama has my vote
McCain is getting pathetic.... these personal attacks are useless
Please tell me how a nobody like Todd Palin get issued a subpoena and ignors it and nothing is done about it. This just goes to show afican american people that white people get away with anything they want . If a black man did that he would have had an arrest warrant issued yesterday. Tell me why wouldnt a black person lash out.
Sure they are, however, the die is cast...REAL CHANGE is coming...
Obama/ Biden '08...as well Democrats control of Congress and Senate...then...
Obama/ Biden '12...with Independents gaining more House and Senate Seats...then...
Independent/ Independent '16...with more Independents in the House and Senate
Ultimately the RepubliCONS completely disappear and the Democrats power erodes and the Independents will prevail. Honestly Americans aren't we tired of both of these parties?
Palin is a puppet, she only speaks when they have some negativity for her to spew. As a women I find this shameful, she has not shown us her "intelligence" once!.
Well, this is my home town and I am confident this time around-they will do the right thing and vote for Obama/Biden.
This Palin woman is so ignorant it's pathetic. She is the laughing stock to the world and doesn't even know it. SNL does nothing but portray her as she is STUPID. Would someone please teach her (in addition to all the other things she doesn't know) it is May I Call You Joe? Not Can I Call You Joe? In case you still don't understand READ SOMETIMES! Nothing is worst than someone throwing insults without intelligence.
Please North Carolina let me continue to be proud of you.
Take your votes seriously this time. Vote Obama.
Please do not cross into Virginia...we're having a hard time laughing at Jim Gilmore (thinking he can beat Mark Warner). I almost fell off my bed during your debate. "Can I talk more about energy" to be read as "because I really don't know much about anything else and the McCain campaign will be really, really mad if I make another blunder." And let's forget about those who don't like the way you answer a question...we just want you to ANSWER the question (something, as evidenced during the debate, you are not capable of doing).
I say question McCain's judgement as a leader as this is his VP pick. Second, question her judgement as a leader for saying Yes.
The things that Palin and McCain are saying are not having any effect on Obama's place. In fact it seems to be galvanizing his support. Come-on repubs keep up the good work by the election Obama will have at least a 20 point lead. GO O AND JOE
I am glad to hear Lou Dobbs addressing the "AMERICAN ISSUES ON OUTSOURCING ". The US consumers need to boycut the products of the mant companies that are ousourcing the jobs, companies like Citibank and Coca Cola .
Lou, please keep the fire under the tails of these companies and keep reminding America of the names of these companies.
Unbelievable how a "strong" man like McCain has to have a woman do his dirty work for him. Is he not man enough to come out from behind her skirt? If he would run our nation like he has run his campaign we are all screwed.
All I'm waiting to hear next is that Texas is too close to call.
McCain was never a Republican in the first place and the fact that he essentially swore allgeiance to the second most unpopular president in the history of the United States – even after Karl Rove personally eviserated McCain in the GOP primary of 2000 – will end up being his downfall.
Conservatives, you always have Hannity & Holmes and dreams of when and where Sarah Palin will announce her bid for presidency to keep you optimistic for the next four years.