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. Yikes

    Shouldn't McCain be suspending his campaign right about now? 😉

    October 6, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  2. Jawinka

    I will say this. The McCain campaign has been poorly managed. Why?

    Because the same people that screwed up Guiliani's campaign are in it!

    Also, you know, be cautious Obama supporters. Pride comes before the fall in just about every circumstance. Gloat after the votes are cast. Not before.

    Nothing's worse than putting your foot in your mouth.

    October 6, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. Average American

    N.C. for Obama!

    October 6, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  4. Tommy

    LMAO...you guys really think McCain/Palin still have a chance? Seriously? At this point it's almost a mathematical impossibility for McCain to get to 270. All Obama needs is one or two more states...FL would do it, or OH...or even WI and MO. McCain needs all of the swing states, and that just gets him in the ballgame. He can't even hope for a tie at this point! Maverick and Goose are all done.

    October 6, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  5. bob

    A vote for mccain-palin is a vote for an older bush and a cheney with lipstick, except cheney knows the bush doctrine......He gave it to him!

    October 6, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. Kisha

    Obama was raised by his white mother before he was sent to live with his white grandparents. I am find it hard to believe that he has anything against white people since he himself is part white. The notion that Obama does not like white people is ridiculous. If you don't lik Obama, that is fine, but stop trying to invent reasons not to like him. Maybe you just don't like him because he is half black.

    October 6, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  7. Boomer1953

    McGeezer is behind in:

    North Carolina (1.5%)
    Virginia (10%)
    Florida (7%)
    Ohio (4%)

    So he sends the moose hunter out to fix things up. Palin to speak at A NC University tomorrow...

    I can hardly wait for the SNL skit.

    October 6, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. james


    October 6, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. concerned canadian

    Boss in NC October 6th, 2008 7:55 pm ET

    It pains me to say it, but I'd bet money that a significant portion of the blacks supporting Obama support him for one reason and one reason only: He's Black. I doubt they can articulate any other reasons.

    Any more blatant racist ready to rear their ugly head yet?

    October 6, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. Andy in VA

    Look, the fact that we're even talking about North Carolina a week into October says it all. I've read several articles talking about whether NC will be decisive. It won't. If Obama wins North Carolina, even if he loses it by a point or two, it will be part of an Obama Electoral College blowout. This is a state that Bush carried 56-44 just four years ago, one that really doesn't have the Dem-favoring trends of Virginia, Colorado, or New Mexico; in other words, it should be a safe R on Nov. 4. It's October 6 and we're discussing Indiana, Missouri, and North Carolina. Someone in the McCain campaign needs to be pushing the big red panic button.

    October 6, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  11. Will

    Sarah, John..The last couple of days have made me change my vote. I was for you both until I saw the VP debate and the news today. Sarah, you said you were just like us, but I see that you and your husband made a little over 177K, not an average family income, and your worth about 1. mil, not like me. Negative adds are not good, I'm voting democratic now.

    October 6, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. Sick-Of-It!

    To all those "Chicken Little" folks that think the absolute worse of Obama.

    Do you guy's understand how this country works? Have you ever heard of "Check's and Balances". Or did you miss that day of high school? Do you really think if Barack Obama is as bad as you think, he'll be able to turn this country over to terrorists if he was President? Wouldn't our "Check's and Balances" step in and impeach such a extremist?

    Oh, but wait! Gov. Palin wants the VP to have more power over the Senate. Why would she want the VP to have more power over the Senate? Maybe she wants to go against the Constitution of the United States and eliminate our "Check and Balances" so a single person can have total control over this country, going against everything the forefathers of this country faught for!


    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 6, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. Marge

    If the MSM would only print just a few of the things this person obama has done, he would be so far behind he would be dragging. I cannot understand the phrase free press. The press in the USA today picks their subject and becomes another 527 pact for obama.

    October 6, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. Yikes

    McKeating McKeaking you have to be kidding!?!?!?!?

    October 6, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. Bob

    I am still undecided, But have still not hear Sarah say anything constructive. Does she have any thing to say about the issues, or does all she have to do is may falsh statements, maybe not false, but always push the limit. I woud like to hear talk about the issues, if she can. Come on Sarah if you want to be the next president tell us what you would do, not all the beat around the bush, and try to act like you are one of us, because that is far from the truth. Well Oh Galll, I am not Joe SiX Pack who ever hie is , Dam is that what this is all about , Gee whis, I am not hat hocky mom, or soccer mon, but one that is concerned about my kids fuature. By the way when is you daughter is getting married. Havn't heard about that lately. From the Heartland. Bob

    October 6, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. SoCal

    Friday night on MSNBC Countdown I saw a nice clip of portions of the Palin/Biden debate, showing how Palin claimed to be a reformer, an outsider, having executive experience, talking about global warming and, of course, winking.

    Then they displayed portions of the old Bush/Gore debates, with Bush saying exactly the same things Palin said, and – guess what – even winking!

    I hope the Obama campaign will soon do an ad of this.

    Palin is just more of the same.

    October 6, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. Sherry for Obama

    time is up for you McCain.....your not fit to be president you old grouchy has been.... Palin will go down as your downfall.....because she is a bimbo

    October 6, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. kid

    Griff – If you don't like CNN, don't read it. And, learn how to spell.

    October 6, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. angie in dallas 28

    TO --President William Jefferson Nixon– get on the winning train OR GET OUT. i can't imagine an AMERICAN spewing such hatred because OF A NAME. our country stands for FREEDOM OF RELIGION, regardless of where he was born (hawaii) or what religion (he is christian) . i can't imagine what hatred and fear you are feeding to your family and friends IF anyone is intelligent enough to listen to it.

    yeah that's sounds AWESOME!!

    young people are coming out in numbers and will put this country on the right track and take us off you're train of bigotry, hate, fear, and all out stupidity.

    October 6, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. Slomo

    Obama the Fascist DIctator will be removed from office in cuffs prior to 2012. He is a Marxist thug.

    October 6, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. MATT WILL, W-S N.C.

    It is shameful for the McCain crew to start this negative campaigning. Obama is hitting them back. See, McCain and crew don't want to address the nation with an economical plan, because they don't have one. His crew has said they want to turn the American public away from the economy, because that is a losing battle.

    October 6, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. Tom

    CNN said William Ayers was only on a board with Obama . However the truth is Ayers had a fund raiser for Obama in his living room and they are good buddies for 2 decades. Then tried to tie McCain to the keating 5 that McCain was cleared of all wrong doing. The Keating other 4 were Dems. McCain was fingered to say it was both parties.

    But why would I expect anything else from an Obama News Network. Your Network is a FRAUD.

    October 6, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. Jeremy

    Of course McCain is scared. They are pulling out a last ditch, racist, fearmongering effort to make Obama look bad. McCain and Palin's smear tactics are making me sick.

    October 6, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  24. Gayle in Georgia, born and raised here

    President Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama

    It has such a nice ring to it, I can't stop saying it!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 6, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  25. Wanderer, Olympia WA

    To all independent voters:
    Anywhere on earth, rich people are only a few, and the majority of people are from poor-to-average. Rich people can have special things, but it does not at all mean they are special and the poor-to-average are not. While nowhere on earth is perfect, there are always a few and a majority. Whether we like it or not, we must accept the fact that both the few and the majority must co-exist in order to live in harmony. To do this we must make every effort to balance ourselves to achieve the harmony. Of course, you are perfectly right to say, NO, it never happens. You are absolutely right, but we also need to understand that although nothing is ready for us to comprehend but nothing is impossible for us to make it happens because things kept changing. If we want to harmonize with things, we need to change with it. I believe this year’s election is our opportunity to change with the changes. If we are honest, we should be able see what happened to the US, the American, and hundred of thousands innocent people in the world under president Bush’s administration. If we are honest we could see whether it was more negative than positive or vice versa. If we believe that change is eventually needed, please use your power on 11/04/08 to change it. “CHANGE’ is always better than ‘MORE OF THE SAME” if the “SAME’ was very ‘BAD’, and it was ‘BAD’ for the majority i.e. poor-to-average like you and I.

    October 6, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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