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. Stephen

    This is just the beginning. FINALLY, Americans are starting to become OUTRAGED with the GOP. On Nov 4th we will see Colorado, Virginia, Nevada and North Carolina go BLUE. It is the end of a NIGHTMARE, starting with Reagan and culminating with the dispicable fear and hate-mongering of Palin and McCain.

    OBAMA 08

    October 6, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  2. Michael

    Maybe John McCain and Palin could just start attacking the American people into voting for them come election day. I mean they don't care about the country anymore right? they just want to be elected – at any cost. that's what McCain has said – that's why McCain stated he's giving up campaigning for the issues and is only concentrating on attacks against his running mates.
    He's a desperate man running a desperate election. And, it's scary to think of what sorts of desperate acts he'll commit if he had more a chance to get into office.

    October 6, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I think it wrong to not vote for McCain just because of Bush's record. Just because your republican doesn't mean your the same. Just voting for Obama because he's not Republican is wrong too. Biden is more qualified than Obama, but the media chose him in 2004 just because he can communicate. His ideas are not his own, they are just campaign promises. I for one think we'll be in worse shape with Obama, though McCain is no savior either. For the economy we need a Ross Perot, Romeny, Bloomberg, type person, not some lawyer or professional senator.

    October 6, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. Cory

    I'm sure that McCain and Palin are hoping for the voitng machines to malfunction and Florida's "chads" fall in their direction. lol lol lol

    October 6, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Sarah in South NJ

    My daughter is a Tarheel

    I HOPE NC goes for Obama!

    and NOT those ding a ling buckaroos

    McCain is as corrupt a millionaire as the day is long

    he and his cronies created this eocnomic CRISIS

    and his goofy pin up girl –

    if she sweet talks you into buying their ticket,

    honey you ain't gonna enjoy the show

    October 6, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  6. Mike in Asheville, NC

    I've lived in NC for 20 years and this is the most excitement I've ever seen for a Democratic presidential candidate, and from so many different types of people. I think people are listening to Obama's message, and are discovering he has the demeanor to bring people together and be a very effective leader.

    October 6, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  7. cecil

    Gov. Palin, The Wicked Witch of The North..............Sheees Melting

    You Betcha!

    October 6, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  8. Greg285

    These battleground states are trending in Obama way and that trend will not stop! Obama is going win in a landslide on Nov 4th and McCain knows this..that's why he trying to change the subject from the economy to smear tactics....

    October 6, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. Rob

    Mc Cain / Palin need to apologize to the public for the lies-the scams-anti American–anti-woman–anti-gay.. but he is pro old white men–its time they packed it in and just go into the sunset..
    Mc Pain will be in for a night of horrors–when the GOP loses big time

    October 6, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  10. Nobama

    voter, you obviously know as much about medicare and medicaid as my 3-year old knows about Calculus. I work with both on a daily basis.

    October 6, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  11. Eric-29-m-PA


    You've been misinformed. Republicans want to deport ILLEGAL citizens not legal. John McCain is actually FOR AMNESTY!

    October 6, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  12. RM

    Stop the smears! Focus on the issues!

    October 6, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  13. Ivan Sanchez

    Desperate time’s desperate measures are the name of the game. When two men are fighting to win and the other is losing, he’ll do anything to win even cheat, lie and kill. That’s what is happen with McCain. If he has to cheat to win just imagine what he’ll be like if elected!

    October 6, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  14. cecil

    If Sen.ObAMA Is A Terrorist, than Gov. Palin Is An Unfit Mother!

    October 6, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  15. GARY


    October 6, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  16. Mike Pellegrino

    The Republicans have nothing else to talk about but Obama bashing to 99.999% white audience. This party of diversity is only the front for the KKK.

    October 6, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  17. Joe Regis

    McCain ought to be worried because the national consensus is not on his favor right now.

    Landslide Obama/Biden 08/12.

    October 6, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  18. pam Eugene OR

    How's that negative campaigning workin for ya John. Gosh, golly, gee wiz. It ani't lookin so gud huh ohn?

    October 6, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  19. Obamites

    What has Obama ever done for our country? Nothing! He promises everything, but the kitchen sink but will not deliver. He's the kind of fellow who is present but that's all. In the end he will be just words...that's all.

    October 6, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  20. Scared of Muslims

    Obama is liar,corrupt, liar, corrupt, liar, corrupt, let's turn North Carolina the "THE BIG RED ONE".......

    October 6, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  21. kathy

    she doesn't need to bother crossing the state line – after all the hate spewing the two of them have done i'm voting early and it's not for the McPains. I could care less about the next 4 weeks and the lies they will be telling – they've shown their true colors and it's not a pretty picture. Nasty, vile human beings. How dare they think i'm so stupid i should vote for them.

    October 6, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  22. Griff

    I have five "Grand-Children", CNN.. What do you have, CNN? A Bloody Liar.... None American: Bloody Liar.... Ask 6this Idiot one question. America,.... Take a DNA Test? He won't because... That question is left fo the USA.... He's a liar..............................

    October 6, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  23. Anna

    She was here in my homestate FL today. She scared the heck out of me. I was on the fence but now Im defintely voting for Obama. This lady is clueless. And she's pretty nasty too.

    October 6, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  24. Francheska Georgia

    A JOBLESS FATHER KILLED HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY and the McCain/Palin wants to go into SILLY season!! I wish Palin would shut up and go back to Alaska. She is lil Miss Suqeaky Clean herself. The only difference is that Obama does not see the need to attack her problems for political gain. What a CHEAP campaign!!

    October 6, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. Scared of Obama

    NORTH CAROLINA, THE BIG RED ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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