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. jason, tx

    Going to another state to spread lies, is she?

    October 6, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. Dameun Strange

    I wish Palin WOULD talk about character issues...I think she more questions to answer than Obama. Un-american seperatist, anit-woman, backward thinking, gay-basher, abuser of power...do I need to go on?

    October 6, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. nick q

    Let's go people! Chop Chop! Let's turn North Carolina blue and deal a major blow to the republicans.

    October 6, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Frank

    One by one, McCain states are slipping into the toss-up category and toss-ups are moving toward Obama.

    It appears that Howard Wolfson is correct. The race is over and neither side can afford to admit it.

    The question now is, what will the damage to the Republicans in Congress look like? Is a 60 vote margin in the Senate within reach?

    October 6, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  5. john

    Few states are "safe if the voters turn out the way i think they will. McCain is in for a night of horrors 11/4 OBAMA 08/12!!!!!!!!!!!1

    October 6, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. Abby

    The mental recession sure feels real. Let the Harvard guy fix it!

    October 6, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. Sandra

    The pitbull will rally the base but do nothing but turn off the independents. She has been given a script and will repeat it endlessly to no avail.

    October 6, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  8. Maggie

    I keep hearing from friends who voted for McCain in 2000- many of them in PA and MI. Their views have changed so much. Even I had great respect for that McCain. While my positions on the issues differed from his, I thought that it wouldn't be a horrible thing if he became president. But the new John McCain appears deranged and/or confused. What happened? Has he tried to appeal so much to the base that didn't like him months ago that he has totally lost himself? Or is it medical?

    October 6, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  9. Billy

    Who cares what Palin or McCain say anymore?

    They've lost all credibility with their antics and lies.

    While our country burns, they talk about throwing mud because it's the only thing that might win it for them.... some country first.

    October 6, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. jeff

    too bad he doesnt have about 15 Palins to send out and stir up support...time is running out, Mac...

    October 6, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. mitch

    if they send HER to those states they deserve to lose them.

    October 6, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  12. Bill Tampa

    Why is Palin leading the charge?..Sad, she seems to be at the top of the ticket. Poor MCsame!!!..Relying on Palin to bring it home.

    October 6, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. David

    Don't flatter yourself Palin, It's so obvious you are frustrated with the way McSame is handling his campaign. I wonder how he likes being second on the ticket now. Your "smear" tactics and racism are not attractive. Just keep doing what you do best.... and that is winking. You go girl. You're sinking the McSame campaign now and Obama thanks you.

    October 6, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. No McPain

    They are pathetic.

    Will McCain make these stupid accusations to Obama's face tomorrow night? I doubt it – it's easy for two cowards to scream lies behind Obama's back when he is not there to defend himself. Say it to his face. Let him defend himself. Let Obama bring up Keating, Troopergate, Alaska secession, etc etc.

    I hope McCain/Palin lose in a landslide. Sickening.

    October 6, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  15. Peter (CA)

    I would love to see NC flip blue. The South saw population growth in the 80s and economic growth in the 90s but is now hurting also. It would be great to see them vote for change and not for a candidate bent on winning through lies and divisiveness.

    October 6, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  16. Vote for Change

    Gov. Palin will have some explaining to do later this week instead of pitbull trash-talking about future President Obama. The Alaska legislature's Troopergate Probe report is due to be released. I am guessing it will contain a few things for her to explain such as: witness tampering, illegal use of state funds, violation of state personnel privacy laws, misuse of state employees, and even obstruction of justice. Wink your way out of this one cutesy Sarah. You betcha !!

    October 6, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  17. the other jd

    yeah, sure, she wants to go to Nebraska, when they are running out of money, and need to be fighting in FL and OH.

    October 6, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  18. Tracy

    Let's see if you can provide details on plans for America and not resort to name calling and bashing your opponent. Pretty sad day in Amercia when people flock to gatherings to hear politicans speak and all they hear are blah, blah, blah, ..... let's hear about what you will be doing to addess what concerns Americans most – the ECONOMY.

    October 6, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. Sylvia

    I can't understand how anyone would pick a President without principles. The pitbull attacks are really turning me off.

    October 6, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. witch

    The more they spew the more the polls favor Obama..........................

    October 6, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  21. Steve in Utah

    The Palin/McCain (NO TYPO) ticket should be ashamed. Sarah Palin has no credibility when it comes to attacking either Biden or Obama. She is just a mouthpiece for the McCain and doesn't have one original thought in her head. She reminds me of the snotty girls in high school that would band together so they could talk smack about other girls who weren’t part of their clique. She is not Presidential material and I would argue that she isn’t even Governor material.

    October 6, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  22. Joseph

    Liar,Liar , Your pants under fire!!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. Scott L

    Fairfax county only had 3,000 new voter registrations over past election cycles (something like 600k+ in each cycle). You would think with all the media BS hype about people coming out in droves to register that it would be a lot higher than 3,000 newly registered voters. I think even in surrounding counties it was like 7,000 or 10,000 more only over past election cycles. Let's see though, 3,000 of 600,000 registrations is only a half a percent (.005) increase. Unless the numbers they showed on the local news tonight are misleading, this doesn't bode well for those foaming at the mouth.

    DC seems to have had a higher turnout, but that is expected with higher % of African Americans. Ability to register to vote expires at Midnight for VA and DC tonight, so let's see how many idiots show up at the polls, not registered to vote, who will claim some kind of discrimination.

    Obama will not win this election. I have been saying this from day one.

    October 6, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. Mel in GA

    It's the ECONOMY STUPID ......The way things are looking lately You may need to head out to AZ and defend it.......

    October 6, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  25. Dal CA

    Palin the Pitbull with lipstick will be trying to take a bite out of Baracks calf. All this talk about Barack but she herself does not say that her own problems in Alaska due to her firing of the safety commissioner, just because he did not fire her ex brother in law.
    She left Wasilia in debt. When she leaves Alaska that state will also be in dire state as well. She is a LIAR and can not be TRUSTED.

    October 6, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
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