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. Lu

    Obama is a repeat of Jimmy Carter. He offers hope, means well, and is bright but if we elect him there will be more than 53 Americans held hostage by Islamists, the whole country will be held hostage. Vote for McCain if you enjoy your freedom. This is not meant to be a scare tactic; just a bit of reality from someone who appreciates learning from history.

    October 6, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. J.

    My hope is that John McCain will decide to return to being the man he was before he decided to select an unqualified individual to run as vice president and release Lee Atwaters minions as his agents to grain the post.
    Gee! I thought he was one who loved his country. So he betrays all acceptable means of becoming its leader to win, but will be unable to led because he divided the country to and he can't unit it after the election. Sounds like George Bush to me.

    One more thing! Remind him that our children are watching!

    October 6, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. Tom

    Hey Ignorant and for Obama @ October 6th, 2008 9:03 pm ET

    You said; I support Obama, but I don't know why!

    I know why. It's called being a DRONE.

    October 6, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  4. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Ever notice how vicious McCain supporters are? Just like their old man!

    McCain was censored by Congress for lack of ethics and lack of judgment .... and he hasn't changed!

    ... and I don't care if "everybody else was doing it" .... McCain is the one who wants to be President ...

    .... and can do nothing but run a nasty campaign.... nothing to offer but failed Bush policies ... I truly can not believe in the (expletive deleted) people who still believe in McCain ... how blind are those who will not see ...

    October 6, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  5. Bayou Joe

    I have been asking the same question> Who is this Barack Obama.,
    from the moment he announced he was running for President.

    Ask me and I will tell you who the real Barack Obama is and is not.
    He was born in Kenya and his birth certificate was filed in Hawaii.
    Only one parent was a white woman and an Atheist at that.
    He has no executive experience, has never served in the military.
    Does not salute the flag. Went to a radical church whose preacher condemns the U.S. Is married to a woman that also hates the United States. and his friends are: Bill Ayers, Louis Farankhan (nation of Islam). What more do you need to know. He is not fit to be PO

    October 6, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  6. Jack Six Pack

    This witch silly sarah has to be the most destructive person in politics today!

    October 6, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  7. Steve from Florida

    Gollee Gee Whiz...This is going ot be our next VP? Shame on us if that occurs!

    October 6, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. Marie

    sick of it, thanks for the lecture on checks and balances. I'm glad you think the President doesn't have that much power. Someone should tell George Bush, he took the country to war, destroyed the constitution and ruined the economy in just eight years. What was it you were saying about checks and balances, I think George and I need to hear it again. get real!!!!!

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

    I hope that what I'm seeing in the blogs and commentary are true; people seem to be seeing through our Beauty Queen of a Governor. I can only hope for all of our sakes that it is true. She's empty-headed, hate-filled, overly-ambitious and downright clueless with regard to life outside of Alaska. She will do anything to push her agenda with little to no regard for those who don't agree with her. It is truly one of the scariest things I've ever seen in the political arena and I hope for all of our sakes that people are truly paying attention. If you are at all concerned about our safety, our economy, our civil liberties, and our country you can not, in good conscience, vote McCain/Palin. A campaign should be about more than reciting lines (lies) that are rehearsed and vicious rhetoric. Let's focus on the issues.

    Palin has a lot to answer for in Alaska and despite her platform of openness and transparency during the gubernatorial election, she continues to resist efforts to investigate the ethics violation for which she owes the people of Alaska (and America) an answer. She and McCain should be required to respond to the allegations and cooperate without delay rather than employ a diversionary tactic of blaming the probe on Obama lawyers (this mess started over the summer, months ahead of the McCain political stunt...er announcement). If McCain had done his homework, I'm sure he could have found someone (anyone) better to be his running mate. To say that this woman is qualified to be the next Vice President (and possibly the next President) of the United States is an insult to the collective intelligence of the citizens of this country.

    The world is watching, and waiting with baited breath to see what Americans choose for the future. Let's show them that we're sick of the BS and do what's best for the nation.

    Obama/Biden 2008!

    October 6, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  10. tesy

    President Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 6, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  11. Betsy

    "check out the vice president’s schedule"

    Someone please tell this nit wit that she is not the vice president, but a vice presidential CANDIDATE!! And a sorry one at that.

    October 6, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  12. cecil

    America is fired up and ready to vote, I Like That!

    October 6, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  13. Shannon Nicole Bell

    Why is it that our forefathers even came to this country for freedom of religion? So that you and I could have it! Come on people Barack Obama is not a muslim but even if he was what the hell is your point? I don't like religion period but all of you have the right to be the religion you choose and i have to live with the fact that you all continue to cram it down my throat because that is the country that i live in. I can't believe that people are still trying to sling that kind of mud around isn't that yesterdays news. Find something of substance to change my mind with provable facts otherwise back off its OBAMA/BIDEN all the way to the whitehouse!!!!!!!!!

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

    McCain's own campaign told us this weekend that they no longer want to talk about the economy. Really? Why, is it because after this bailout, we will all get to live like the McCain's – 13 homes and 9 cars? Really, so that poor woman who shot herself in order to avoid a foreclosure, the economy is really good for her???

    The economy is on EVERYONE's mind people. Sorry McCain, you cannot convince people who have or about to loose their homes and jobs that they need to care about something else.

    October 6, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  15. Oliver

    The Latino Vote,

    500 hundred latinos from my church and university will be voting for Obama here in florida and we're spreading the word fast.

    There was one latino in the GOP convention and he was 100 years old.

    October 6, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  16. fool

    Palin is like me so i´ll vote for her!

    October 6, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  17. obama supporter

    You know what McCain/Palin, for the sake of this country: drop out of the race. You lost.

    October 6, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  18. Olivia

    Plenty of support for the McCain/Palin ticket is sent to this site.
    CNN does not post most of them, so the rhetoric read here is lopsided. I have a problem, as do others.Shame, really, that this is happening.

    October 6, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  19. sjp

    the dow jones is below 10k, no one in there right mind would vote to have the republicans in charge for another 4 years.

    October 6, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  20. nate

    n.c. is now a swing state! there's still a month to turn more red states blue!

    October 6, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  21. Shannon

    hahahaha, checks and balances, you think we have checks and balances, sick of it! What planet have you been living on for the last seven years. The war, the economy, the constitution, where were the checks and balances when George Bush was having his way those issues. What a fool, if you believe what you wrote!

    October 6, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  22. cs

    mccain, if you really put your "country first" then why are you taking the time to tear at obama with blown out of proportion accusations as soon as your standing in the polls are dropping like the stock market numbers? WAKE UP AMERICA AND SEE WHO THE "REAL JOHN MCCAIN" IS.

    Barack Obama / Joe Biden 08

    October 6, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  23. Melissa

    Of course he's on the defensive, he's losing. And I hope it stays that way. No more McBush.

    October 6, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  24. PeggySue

    I must say that I am very disappointed in John McCain. I am a 67 year old women. When I hear that Sarah Palin appeals to the average person I am offended that the Republican party feels that they must dumb down in order to appeal to the average older white voter.

    October 6, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  25. Gayle in Georgia, born and raised here

    You'd have to be a complete, total idiot to vote for the Geezer and Gidget.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 6, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
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