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. Sylvia

    I can't imagine anyone picking a President without principles. The McCain campaign has none left, and the Pitbull attacks really really turn me off.

    October 6, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  2. Avenue A

    Dear Senator Barack Obama,

    I have donated yet another fifty dollar check to your campaign.


    A Republican for Obama

    (Yes, we really can!)

    October 6, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. Peter (CA)

    Rasmussen just put out some new swing state polls.
    Obama is up 7 in Florida, 6 in Colorado, 3 in Missouri, 2 in Virginia, and only down 1 in Ohio.

    Looks like Palin is going to be getting some more frequent flier miles.

    October 6, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  4. Cynthia - Arkansas

    When is this woman ever going to SHUT UP! She gets on my last nerve. Everything that comes out of her mouth was written for her by McShame's hacks. That fake "Folksy" act is ridiculous. I want the smartest person we got to be president. Obama is so far above the fray on this, it is getting really sad to watch. All McShame and Palin can do is tell lies and try to scare people into voting for them. They are starting to scare me to death. Scared of the very possibility that the Republicans will steal this election again and we will have these clowns running the country.

    October 6, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. Swatt

    Vote out all incumbents. We need an entirely new and (hopefully) clean set of people. The current Congress is the worst garbage in our history, same for the last 2 presidents. Between the two of them Clinton and Bush and their disgusting "parties" have nearly destroyed the United States, economically, culturally, militarily, socially.

    October 6, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. spiveyivey

    I used to truly respect John McCain. I had planned to vote for him. But he has disgusted me in the last few weeks. I was so impressed that he stood by his principles when he ran in 2000. It's what made me read all is books and root for him in the primaries. But it seems so much of what he stood for before he has abandoned. I have never seen such a case of ambition ruin a person like this. And then I watch the Keating Five video tonight and realize that he never really changed his stripes. He was always that ambitious, reckless person who fooled me. No more. He has lost me and my vote. I am impressed by what I have seen from Obama in the past few weeks. He has brought comfort amidst this crisis and he now has my vote.

    October 6, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |

    Last time I checked, calling someone a terrorist is slander and a punishable offense. This campaign has reached a new all time gutter low, and me thinks it's going to get worse unfortunately. The desperation shows, and it's frankly pathetic and worse than a public childish tantrum.

    October 6, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  8. Voter

    2 "mavericks" can't work together... that's why they call themselves "mavericks" after all...

    that's just the 1st problem

    October 6, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. RICK

    McCain/Palin might as well drop out, people are wondering why the markets are hitting new lows and neither one is educated enough to comment on the economy, if the market is fall is because people are pulling their investments to see he becomes president. I need a business loan, but I timid until I know who will be president.

    October 6, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. sola

    what is the definition of panic?

    October 6, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  11. Shannon,Dallas,Texas

    The Alaska Supreme Court is going to rule on the legislatures right to investigate the firing of a public officer the lawmakers had confirmed on Wednesday. The legislatures report will be out Friday. Aides to Gov. Palin say that they will now cooperate with the investigation.

    Please, put Sarah Palin on the record. She promised that she would be forthcoming and cooperative.


    October 6, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. Al

    Sarah, keep putting your foot in your mouth. While you are out there, remind everyone that you and John plan on taxing Social Security, Medicare, everyone's Health benefits, and your wonderful healthcare package will actually result in higher taxes for everyone and tens of millions of existing people who currently have health insurance having their health insurance cancelled with no where to go. Sarah, that is kinda real sorta palsy folksy of ya don't ya say?

    October 6, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    That pitbull ain't welcome here !

    She'd better watch out what town she pulls into.

    No more wars, no more lies, no more smears, no more !

    Obama/Biden –

    October 6, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  14. Republican Woman For Obama

    My girlfriend lives in Omaha and they are Obama signs EVERYWHERE! I don't know if it's the most populated area of the state but if Obama was to win NE, the whole freakin' country turns blue!

    October 6, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  15. End Rove politics!!

    I am one of those people who can remember the 2000 election season and watched as the Bush team, a la Rove, destroy McCain during that Republican primary run.

    The once 'Maverick', is now standing in the same slop he once stood against. Pathetic.

    Leaders lead, while followers try to keep up. The GOP has forgotten who their employer is.

    October 6, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. D M

    As a member of the crowd in Nebraska yesterday, I can tell you that it was more than just a visit by Gov. Palin. Most of the event was a gathering of Republicans to hear from state and federally elected officials from Omaha and Nebraska. Having Gov. Palin stop by was fantastic, but no reliable pollster will tell you that her visit was necessary. The 2nd district is too heavily conservative for someone like Barack Obama to win. He will do well, but it will not be enough.

    October 6, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Susan

    I can't wait for Palin to disappear after the election is over and Obama wins.

    October 6, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. j

    Palin can show yet another state why she's a bad choice for VP. Maybe the Republicans should ask for a do over and choose a different candidate, someone with some integrity, that's smarter than a 5th grader.

    October 6, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. facts are facts

    There is a very serious and obvious sign of depreciating mental faculties with John and if he isn't careful it may affect him in the future as a mind is a terrible thing to lose.

    Unfortunately it is too late to pull this one out of the fire after the childish antics of claiming he was suspending his campaign and cancelling the debate. Why can't he see the harm he is doing to himself with these ridiculous tactics. The public sees right through what he is doing and Palin is wearing thin everywhere except with the extremists.

    October 6, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. maccainpalin think americans are stupid

    after 8 years fake and falses policies from john maccain and bush

    now we the taxpayers are in charge to clean up they mess ?

    we are going to clean up they mess not for wall street but for the country

    we just dont want maccain and GOP in white AGAIN OBAMA BIDEN WE TRUST .

    October 6, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. Moe, NY

    The McCain/Palin campaign has turned nasty, guess they are that desparate. The smear campaign will not work this time around for the Republicans, America has finally caught on to their nasty tactics. As for our economy, I believe it is the Republicans fault...afterall, it happened on their watch. This country had a surplus before the Republicans got their hands in the cookie jar.

    October 6, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. mel from Ohio

    Do you think that McCain will EVER figure out that people don't want to hear attacks, they want to hear about the things that affect them. Why is he wasting his energy on things that won't change ANYBODY'S mind–it only keeps the base that he already has WHOOPEE? I understand Palin focusing on attacks beause she wouldn't know an ISSUE if it bit on the butt!! Poor judgement? You Betcha!!

    October 6, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. BV

    Please Nebraska and North Carolina give Obama a chance. This nation needs change not lies spread with out shame. Do you really want the two " lying Mavericks" ruinning this country? I can't believe how un-American they have become and how easy it seems for them.

    October 6, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. Monique

    I am voting in N. Carolina and guess what? Me and at least 20 others are voting for change. I do not care who else is voting what but bring it on baby, this white N. Carolinian woman is voting for Obama/Biden period!

    October 6, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. KenM

    Obama/ACORN one of the reasons this country is in this mess.......it starts from the ground up.

    October 6, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
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