October 6th, 2008
08:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Palin schedule shows McCain on the defensive?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/06/art.palinnc.ap.jpg caption="Palin will go to Greenville, North Carolina Tuesday."](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."

Filed under: Nebraska • North Carolina • Sarah Palin
soundoff (919 Responses)
  1. James Feagans

    John McCain Is behaving like a trigger happy soldier.
    Obama is showing his always steady and thoughtfull
    leadership. Obama and all who vote for him as well as those who
    dont will see why and how a leader can bring people
    of different political parties,different race cultures,and even
    other forms of government and religions together.
    It is time for the new generation of leadership and awareness
    to begin. No more closing a blind eye : wink, to truth wisdom
    and knowledge.

    October 7, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  2. Paula Lacey

    Rev. Wright is a minister of a popular church. Professor Ayers is a college instructor at a prestigious American university. They don't look like terrorist to me right now. Both are intellctuals who have written many books.They look like hard working Americans contributing to our society.

    October 7, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  3. Ron Murphy

    Attacking Obama personally is a good strategy. People will easily vote for Obama and Biden if the McCain Campaign goes down that road. ECONOMY!!! ECONOMY!!!!

    October 7, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  4. Ella, Nevada

    Michelle Obama's thesis ... is unavailable until Nov. 5, 2008, at the Princeton library. I wonder why."

    "Why a restricted thesis?" "Is the concern based on what's in the thesis? Will Michelle Obama appear to be too black for white America or not black enough for black America?"

    October 7, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  5. Anonymous

    3 days of negative attack on obama and the polls is going up for him.
    what does moosemama has to say about that?????

    October 7, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  6. Paul

    Does anyone imagine a Sarah Palin would have actually earned the nomination of the Republican Party had she run with the rest of the pack? Perhaps in 2012 she will be crazy enough to try... by then even Republicans will recognize how provincial and narrow minded she is.

    How John McCain could have risked the security of America and the world with such a brazen and reckless mind as hers is bewildering and beyond comprehension. Judgment and Country first? Sorry just don't buy it.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 7, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  7. Neutral Voter

    I will be a first time voter this year as I just became a naturalized citizen. As a former Hillary Clinton supporter, I got disgusted with her negative attacks and nasty campaign during the primaries. After getting to know Obama through debates, I was amazed with his intelligence and his very civilized campaign. I became an Obama supporter, although I could not vote. The little experience is not a negative aspect for me at all as I believe he knows the issues well and he is brilliant. McCain has experience but for what? For making bad judgements, for going to Iraq for oil causing so many American soldiers and hundreds or thousands of Iraqi women and children to die. All those years of experience means nothing to me with this kind of politics. It's a waste and he hasn't learned much from it.

    McCain and his incompetent VP choice have been running a very nasty campaign. Just for the sake of winning. They dream, because Obama will win this election. Plus, I do not believe McCain knows foreign policy well. He has made some major mistakes; i.e. he could not tell the difference between the sunnis and shiites. I really do not think he has any clue about the culture or the people in Iraq.

    He is 72 years old and I cannot put my future in this country in the hand of a 72 year old who has had cancer numerous times. Especially now after his VP choice. His VP candidate selection showed us how selfish he is. This woman has no clue about anything. Regular people know more than she does! She keeps blaming the media, but no one in the right mind will believe what she's trying to pull after seeing her interviews. For those brainwashed people who keep praising her, I feel sorry for you for not being able to see the truth and the reality.

    October 7, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  8. T. Rice

    The McCain / Palin events are starting to look and sound more and more like Klan rallies. All McCain needs is a white sheet and a pointy hat. Palin already has a pointy hat – a dunce cap that is. Let's talk about he economic crisis, healthcare, lost jobs and pensions. Talk about the issues. Judging from the majority of responses on this site, people are not fooled and this is actually backfiring as we speak.

    October 7, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  9. kathy ng.

    This low IQ Sarah Palin keeps saying she will be tasked to work on energy independent. So if we are in a economy crisis, she cannot help to fix the issue???? What kind of VP candidate is this?
    Senator Mc Cain will be regret for his poor judgement by selecting this lady.
    I used to have great respect for senator Mc Cain, but after his VP selection, he just showed people his irresponsibility. His campaign say "Put country first", I want to know if he put the country first when he selected this low IQ person to be his VP?

    October 7, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  10. Barbara

    I hope people don't buy into all the mucslinging thats going on in this campaign. I hope they stick with the real issues that matters to people in this time of crises but I see that its not happening. McCain has made so many mistakes in this campaign that no one really can beleive him anymore. All he can do is bring up old dirt, that people at this time doesnt' really care about. They want to know about how they are going to take care of them with their health care, taxes, stocks jobs. but Hey and Palin she can't talk about obama, without looking at her past,, with Alaska. She's was wanting to seperate Alaska from the US. Well I thought McCain had some intergity but now He has really went down hill, that makes me wonder what he would do for our country. Yea McCain you say Country first. all you are thinking about is you first and the heck with everyone else. well I'm voting for Obama. I have had enough of the same old eight years. If people don't want the same they would vote for Obama.

    October 7, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  11. Daryl in San Antonio

    "You will know their names...I will make them famous" – Apparently, just another example of 'Say Anything, Do Nothing, MeFirst, Politician in Washington who is sacraficing his every moral code to simply get elected.

    Fact is, America is sick & tired of this game that the GOP ticket is playing and is making a stand against the greed and corruption that is disguised as a republican presidential campaign. Country First? What a JOKE! This Texan is ready for change! Obama/Biden.

    C'mon all, get out to the polls and send a clear message that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    October 7, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  12. Charlie5

    I am an undecided independent. One thing is sure, Sarah Palin's smear campaign turns me off. I am not voting for McCain anymore because of her lack of qualification and her relentless personal attacks.

    October 7, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  13. BM

    McSame, you think Obama is a terroist?hmm. I guess you didn't bother to do your research on the first dude and his terroist friends who wanted to separate themseves from the US. Joe Yogler, whos says"dam america" Check it out!

    October 7, 2008 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  14. BM

    You didn't bother to check the Governor either with her Witchcraft praying preacher who ran a woman out of Wacilla because they thought she was a witch. Check that out too before she points more of her witchy fingers!

    October 7, 2008 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  15. BM

    Did anyone hear the smart Palin refer to Afganistan as our neighboring country? And to take Albright out of context only means that she can't read either!

    October 7, 2008 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  16. BM

    Pail/McCain are so desperate that they have not thought about their own past. I could go on and on and on about these two opportunist who will say and do just about anything to win. Check out Sarah's husband, the first dude. Who is the real John McCain?

    October 7, 2008 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  17. BM

    The 90 year old lady in Ackron, ohio shot herself because her home was being foreclosed and McCain/Palin want to turn the page on this economic crisis and mudsling? What is this world coming to?

    October 7, 2008 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  18. Joy

    If Palin won't give an interview, why is CNN giving her any air time? Using CNN as her forum is a great opportunity for her. But she hasn't earned it. I won't watch this nonsense any more. Until she sits down to talk with reporters from CNN, she shouldn't be heard on CNN. Stop being used.

    October 7, 2008 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  19. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    You know what would be nice? Hearing Sarah Palin actually answer a question she's asked instead of going off a rant starting with "John McCain and I..."!!!

    October 7, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
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