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. Chris

    You don't call yourself a maverick – it's like the kid who goes on about how cool he is. If you have to say it, you ain't it!

    McCain USED to be a maverick. He USED to be an approachable, reasonable, pretty level-headed guy, but his reckless appointing of Palin, who unfortunately besides being a woman brings nothing to the table, coupled with his recent media aversion, and I'm starting to think the guy is losing it. At 72 with 4 years in office, I really don't think he's got it in him, and with Palin as #2, I truly fear any situation that would put her in the oval office.

    Her down home, hockey mom shtick doesn't play for me.

    October 6, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. J.B.

    Some people need to get clean and sober on this thing!! You're plain scarry, some over the edge, lost the horizon that type of thing. People are hurting and Americans are calling names on the candidates , not asking the important questions. Calm Down !!!

    October 6, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  3. Beverly

    If this weren't so serious Sarah Soundbite would be hysterical, but this is serious. Totally unqualified. Totally bimbo. And, it's not getting any better. Election day can't come soon enough.

    October 6, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  4. Ignorant and for Obama

    I support Obama, but I don't know why!

    October 6, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  5. God Bless America

    Hope Palin brings in a few hundred of barrels of gas from Alaska to Charlotte. I hear there is a GREAT SHORTAGE of gas for the people! She can tell them how in only SEVEN SHORT YEARS they'll be able to save 4 cents on the gallon! Palin is such a joke.

    October 6, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. No Hillary = No Obama

    CNN is the equivalent of a banana republic pumping out it's own propaganda to control the universe. Bias and Bull – that should be CNN's new motto.

    October 6, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. J.L.

    Palin is what she is. With all the depressing talk about the economy and negative campaining, this post actually made me feel hopeful for the first time in weeks. Obama is the insightful, even handed leader we need at this time. He has proven this again and again during this campaign. I look forward to living in the United States during his Presidency. I can't remember the last time I felt this positive about a Presidential candidate.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 6, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. ms j

    To L and all the rest of you Republicans who still can't see that this country is more concerned about our livelihood as oppose to the rhetoric that is on the "bridge to nowhere". I'm not going to cast my vote for McCain no matter how I feel about the party. Hey, did you guys not read about the guy who KILLED his entire family including his mother-in-law because he could not find a job? Democrats you got my vote, You've made me see the light in the middle of this dark mess that the Bush admin has gotten us into for 8 YEARS! I'm sorry folks NO MORE BUSH for me, my mom said if you keep doing the same thing over & over again looking for different results that's called INSANITY and I feel McCain is a carbon copy of George Bush!

    October 6, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. Tom

    Fox news is a real news network. You know, not Obama TV.

    October 6, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. Speazy

    Some of Obama's Cabinet:

    Bill Ayers

    Jeremiah Wright

    Tony Rezko

    October 6, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. jason

    rojama...........mccain and palin are both liars, negativity buffs, and losers, so are you..go...get the hell out

    October 6, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. Adam

    I am from North Carolina. I tend to be more fiscally conservative and view myself as an independent. All I know is this: No way. No how. No McCain/Palin. North Carolinians are hurting, just like virtually everyone else in every other state in the US. We can't afford more of the McSame.

    October 6, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  13. suzzette

    Am I dreaming? When did being intelligent and competent become a disadvantage for a leader? When did a jumble of words and non-answers equal a win for a debate for a kinda/sorta important job? People, are we too stupid or is the official language of the U.S. now Jibberish? Govenor (or soon President) Palin used her so sweet folksy manners to respond to a heckler that her son is over in Iraq fighting for his right to protest- explain to me please. Logically that does not make sense. Speech is very free in this country. For heavens, we are constantly listening to Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh including others who are influencing non-thinkers into repeating garbage and influencing their children. An insurgent in Iraq is not muting Americans. Why were we even in Iraq in the first place?Non-thinkers were brainwashed. They like to be brainwashed, they make the loudest noises at rallies, in churches(hypocrites disguised as christians) and around the kitchen tables. People need to wake up and brush off their thinking caps.

    October 6, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  14. David

    Mr. Obama is going to disappoint many people. You all think he has the answer to all of our problems. Things will be so great and wonderful if he is elected. Think again.

    October 6, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  15. Dr. Poctor, PHD

    The Ayers lie is no match for Sara Palin's pastor's sermons about
    Alaska being a refuge in the last days, and witch hunting. This woman is far more scarier than Rev. Wright. And besides, when I go to fill my
    gas tank up at $4.00 a gallon, Ayers is not standing at the pump,
    but the republican's ghosts are. They are the one's we should fear.
    Palin is anti-woman, bans books, no foreign policy credentials, and
    a threat to our national security. This is what can REALLY hurt Americans
    and for this they should be fearful. Sara "Harry Potter" Palin should be
    sued for slander.

    October 6, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  16. Sick-Of-It!


    Please enlighten us on the stuff we're missing.

    October 6, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  17. Dan, TX


    The Statement: The campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama on Monday, Oct. 6, unveiled a Web site noting that Republican opponent Sen. John McCain played a key role in the Senate's "Keating Five" scandal of the 1980s. "McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating with federal regulators tasked with preventing banking fraud, and championed legislation to delay regulation of the savings and loan industry — actions that allowed Keating to continue his fraud at an incredible cost to taxpayers," the site says.

    The Verdict: True.

    October 6, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  18. idiots for McPalin

    Palin = fascist pig with lipstick
    palin= Cheney in a miniskirt
    Palin = cult leader

    October 6, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  19. John

    Palin's notions such as the idea that a man who has had charges dropped for lack of evidence is automatically a terrorist is what's dragging McCain -down-. Sending Palin to a leaning-Republican state is likely to make it lean Democratic. The best thing for McCain to do with Palin right now is to get acquainted with Cheney's "undisclosed location" – it's the only chance he has of winning, and if he does, she'll need to be familiar with it in case she gets attacked by a respected and tenured professor.

    October 6, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  20. Christine

    Hey Eileen – Go back to the ignorant, fearful hole you came out of!! Obama-Biden '08

    October 6, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  21. Boomer1953

    The muck-raking party has formally announced its going dirty, so Obama needs to stay on message tomorrow night...

    Astounding...the GOP acutally announces its vile practicies as if they are part of the American fabic.

    We are tired of this! Barack, stay on the high road and make us all proud to be Americans!

    We needs leaders not Senator McPorky and Petunia

    October 6, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. MWA

    When Palin became the Republican VP candidate she was certainly the toast of the town. But beause of it, now McCain is most certainly toast. Why couldn't he have chosen (NO PERSUADED) Dr. Condoleezza Rice - but wait, that would've required brains which neither Palin nor McCain appear to have.

    October 6, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  23. Boss in NC

    A Concerned Canadian browsing the Obama News Network? It must be really boring in Canada.

    October 6, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  24. Bob

    Thank God for the Second Amendment. That's the only thing keeping the politicians and their Wall St. cronies from totally usurping the Constitution and running rough shop over all of us. Obama or McCain either one don't have a chance to restore the economy or our world prestiege. How about a benevolent Dictator??? Doesn't sound too bad given the environment today.

    October 6, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  25. Shannon

    Cecil, do Obama supporters equate working mothers with terrorists now. I know Obama and his supporters hate women, but to say the two are the same, is slightly crazy don't you think. I terrorist kills people and blows up buildings, a working mother goes out into the world, and earns a living to provide for her family. Do you see the difference now Cecil. Maybe Obama and his supporters should stop trashing women, and try to figure out how to help America. Perhaps Obama could give big oil another tax break, that might empower them to cheat us even more. What did Obama get for giving them the first tax break.... just wondering!

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