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. Damien

    John McCain asking who Senator Obama "really' is when he doesn't even
    know who Sara Palin is?

    October 6, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. grammar

    "What the ?" :

    The proper word is "secede", not "succeed" from the Union. Succeed doesn't even make any sense.

    October 6, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  3. Alvin Swerve

    Just fire her, John! She is a vicious, egotistical, corrupt bully and a twit with neither the slightest interest in policy nor any concern that such knowledge might be important.

    Seriously, John, fire her and your numbers will go WAY up.

    October 6, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |

    This would be quite funny – if it wasn't so pathetic! Folks, we are witnessing the desperate demise of a once-respected politician with principles. Can you spell L-A-N-D-S-L-I-D-E?!

    October 6, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  5. Archie H.

    Why worry? The silent majority { the ones who make America work } hasn't voted yet and it won't be for Obama!

    October 6, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  6. NC Women for Obama/Biden!

    Welcome to North Carolina, Silly Sarah! Remember that every step you take in OUR state means more and more votes for Barack Obama - we appreciate the help! Now, stop the lies and the vicious, spiteful, hate-filled name calling - enough is enough! Obama/Biden for NC!

    October 6, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |

    obama is a phony-baloney politician who is nothing but a front for foreign interests trying to get control of America.
    You think obama is dirty now? Wait until he gets hold of the entire government. You won't ever know what happened to you.
    America, don't cut your nose off to spite your face but voting for obama just because of Bush. John McCain is not Bush.
    obama will ruin this country.We cannot trust this person and in your heart you know it.
    Do you trust people who will not allow you to question them?
    You have no idea the hell we're in for if he and his vp wife get in the white house.

    October 6, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  8. Shirley-Ohio

    Palin's attacks on Obama is ruining her reputation, not that she really had one. She is fighting for her life now because her life as she knew it in Alaska will never be the same. She will not win another election there. So if she loses she is doomed. Donald Trump while talking to Wolf Blitzer today could not bring himself to say that Palin was qualifed to be a heart beat away from the President.

    October 6, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  9. Bob (Illinois)

    Of course McCain is worried!

    October 6, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  10. James

    To conclude, Obama needs to end this do and pony show... sadly Americans are being duped about the real financial crisis and lets get real... neither Obama nor McCain will get us out soon... special interests own both these men!!

    October 6, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  11. Kurt

    It was founder Joe Vogler, of The Alaskan Independence Party who said,

    "The fires of Hell are glaciers compared to my hate for the American government."

    Sarah and Todd Palin were both memeber of this party in 1994 when they were palling around with the terrorist advocate, Joe Volger.

    October 6, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  12. Elizabeth - TEXAS - Former Republican

    McCain/McPalin are just like McBush. If you want the same government, policies, taxes, wars then vote for McCain/McPalin.

    The choice is easy. if you want a strong economy, create jobs, bring our military home then vote for Obama/Biden.

    I wouldn't want Palin to even take my trash or shine my shoes. I just want her to go back to Alaska and take her "First Dude".

    Vote Obama/Biden

    October 6, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  13. Harvest

    Sarah Pathetic and John McShame should do all of us a favor and bow out gracefully (Oops, they don't seem to know what 'graceful' is). Also (Ms. Pathetic's favorite word), they have NO CLUE on how to deal w/ this economic crisis, NOR do they have a clue on how to get out of Iraq, that's why they support no timetable and keep talking about the surge....They both need to SURGE right on out of this race so we can deal w/ the real issues facing this country. They keep talking about "winning in Iraq" when they can't even describe what winning looks like for this war that should have never happened. Who are we fighting, McSHAME? Also (Ms. Pathetic's word), if we're "winning" because "the surge worked", why are we still there and why can't we have a timetable for withdrawing?" Instead of going to North Carolina, Ms. Pathetic needs to go back to Alaska and deal w/ her own Troopergate investigation and ANSWER SOME OF THOSE QUESTIONS!!!!


    OBAMA/BIDEN '08!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  14. CJG





    October 6, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. PCS / North Carolina

    Obama is the GORBACHOV of U.S.A. We need "Perestoika" and "Glasnost" in the country, to get out of this recession.

    October 6, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |

    I had a feeling Havard was educating terrorists,just wasnt sure untill now.Thanks Palin for the info.Idaho now Harvard whats this world coming to.

    October 6, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  17. jules

    Totally amazing!!! Every article listed here on CNN is negative against McCain. Keep it up CNN. I no longer watch your channel. You have proved to me that, for the first time since 1976, I am voting for a Republican with good reason. One has to question why you don't research or check on anything that may negatively affect Obama. Obama has huge character issues, no record to run on and yet you say and do nothing. How sad.

    October 6, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  18. Carl Justus

    If McCain is worried about losing the state, he should come here himself. By sending Palin he is saying he already has the state in his pocket and only needs to remind us to vote.
    He is not selling cars or beer or cosmetics, so why send a sex object to try to seal the votes. I firmly believe she was picked in that sense.

    October 6, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  19. Devon Spencer

    It's safe to say McCain/Palin are going to lose this election.
    They showed the entire country in the debates they are more of the same

    October 6, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  20. Amy in Cincy Suburbs

    McCain and Palin are making W look like a genious!

    October 6, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  21. MBFLA

    Oh, please, only an idiot can honestly vote for a demented war monger and his racist xenophobic running mate. Between the two of them they know almost nothing about the most important issue to the electorate.... the economy.

    October 6, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  22. Liz

    Is it McCain's fault that he is rich? Actually rich folks will be equiped to lead the country. Since Obama has less money, he will steal from this country.

    About Sarah Palin, she is very brainy. I heard she drinks from Starbucks. Everybody knows only smart people go to that store. She even quoted words from her coffee cup. How many of you can remember something written on a cup? All I can say is WOW.

    We, people from NC, know smart people when we see one.

    I beg all the Obama H supporters to open thier eyes and vote for McPain/Cain.

    When I heard Sarah talked about discussing in her kitchen, my eyes welled up. How earthish is she? Biden talked about dead people. Boo.

    October 6, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  23. Melissa

    I bet you CNN bozos won't print my comment, because it doesn't fit in with your agenda

    October 6, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  24. cecil

    Obama campaign released a mini-documentary, walking voters through all the details of the Keating Five - making it very much germane.

    Good For You Sen. Obama, Sometimes You Have To Fight Fire With Fire!

    Ugly Catches On Too Fast, You Got To Response Hard.

    I Really Didn't Know That Much About The "Keating 5", Now I Do!

    McCain Wicked Witch She'll Get Hers Very Soon!

    October 6, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I am an African American female and I am voting for Senator Obama – after spending a vast amount of time researching both of the candidates I have concluded that I would be a fool to vote for McCain. McCain has no plan nor any ideas how to direct this country back on track. His great plan is to stay the course – kinda like a driver headed for a car accident and does nothing- no brakes just keeping the foot on the gas paddle. This not putting down McCain supporters but I think that a number of them or voting for McCain because of their hate for a person of color. Very sad –

    October 6, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
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