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. west home

    It's been bad enough having Dubya fondling Germany's Angela Merkel at the G8 conferences. Can you imagine Todd Palin representing the US internationally? He looks like a perennially hungover drywall contractor. I suspect he spends as much time as he can at Wasilla's local pub, the Moose & Antler. But who could blame him – it sure beats going home. I can imagine him at a state dinner with Sarkozy and Gordon Brown. "Lemme tell ya 'bout muh black powder muzzle-loader. Ah call her The Mav'rick. Kill a lotta moose. Hey – quit hoggin' th' buffalo wings!".

    October 6, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  2. Richard Hohn

    Sarah Palin is a political pawn, a product of our times created through strange bedfellow relationship between the Christian Right and so-called new conservative corporate criminals that actually run the Republican Party. She offers the myopic, lemming-like supporters of the right a candidate that they can relate to on both an theological and intellectual level. Many believe her competence level is just right...she is smart enough to learn what to say and her motivation to promote the tenets of her faith make her willing to say or do anything to spread the word. But, I see more. In Sarah Palin I see a megalomaniac akin to the Lonesome Rhodes character in "A Face in the Crowd". She just may be a fierce political fiend that is hiding her true aspirations behind a wholesome and homespun facade and waiting to lead the next crusade against Iran.

    October 6, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  3. Steve,ar

    I am an African American, my opinion is that this has turned into a political lynching of Barack Obama by McCain/palin, he is a man of African and caucasian decent, he represents the best of both worlds of the united states of America. It is a shame he has offered the best economic plans to help pull our selves up by our boot straps(that's all we have left), all the republicans can offer is to label him as a radical and a terrorist, this is dangerous, there are still some people who does not believe black people are intelligent enough to help the united states in this serious time of extreme hardship, how many good black men have lost everything due to lies, please do not allow this. I left palin lower case because she is small and insignificant!

    Vote for Barack Obama 08, he represents the best of both our worlds!

    October 6, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  4. obieone


    You have lost my vote by going negative. You said you wouldn't I am disappointed. If you lied once you will lie again. A true maverick would have stuck to his word and let the chips fall where they may. Plus letting your VP do all the dirty work is gutless. Stand up for yourself man quit hiding behind Palin.

    October 6, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  5. Briana

    Old news.....
    you fail

    Dems 08

    October 6, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  6. Jeff

    What do you expect, putting Failin' Palin on your ticket McSame? The gimmick didn't work, people learned the truth, you are out of touch, and one heartbeat away from Failin' Palin being President.

    Would you feel comfortable and safe with her in charge???

    October 6, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  7. John

    Go ahead, send her to North Carolina. I can think of nothing better to sway voters towards Obama than having Palin launch yet another desperate, misleading tirade that reflects more on her character than his.

    October 6, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  8. ines

    Desperation has reached new lows in the McCain campaign. There is not one ounce of integrity left in the entire group combined.

    October 6, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  9. Zia

    a Persian poet said,
    Urfi do not pay attention to the barking dogs
    as it does not lessen, the food of a poor person

    October 6, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. KM in OHIO

    Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin:

    Please please PLEASE stop the negative campaigning that you know is false. You do not understand that not everyone is as intelligent as you. Most people are not intelligent enough to understand that when you accuse Obama of being a terrorist, it is not true. You both know it is not true. McCain, you should not stoop to such a low level against a fellow Senator. It is unpatriotic.

    It is very scary to think how much you are influencing people with straight lies. It is despicable, and you should be ashamed. If something happens to him when he becomes President, I'm blaming both of you.

    How do you sleep at night??

    Concerned Voter

    October 6, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. bob

    Drill baby drill. Lie baby lie. Fail baby fail. Palin and McCain are finishied. Palin won't amount to squat. She is Stockdale. Clueless loser.

    October 6, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  12. Bill Jay

    McShame and failin Palin just don't get it. The country is falling
    apart and McShame talks about nothing. My 1st year ever voting

    October 6, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  13. Sarah Bell, Cleveland, OH.

    All those years of our parents telling us that one day we can change the world. Now John McCain and Sarah Palin are laughing at the idea of real change. Lets make history folks. Kick these Republican bums out of Washington. All of em. Obama/Biden '08 McCain/Palin 'never.

    October 6, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  14. Pepsi

    Palin is such a big disappointment to the American people and to us women. All I see is a loud mouth with no respect to anyone, and if this is the kind of person we want to represent us Americans , God help us all.
    If you can not talk about the issues which these two(Palin and McCain) can't lets get nasty and tell lies.
    People in the other parts of the world again to have reason to dislike and not respect us.

    If I were a Republican I would be ashamed of the fact McCain chose her and ashamed of her stooping to the gutter as she has. I had respect for most of the republicans but she has gone too far to have anyones respect.

    OBAMA-BIDEN 2008

    October 6, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  15. VA 4 Obama

    Down goes McCrypt!! Virginia will be BLUE!

    October 6, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  16. John

    CNN is showing favoritism to Obama in it's news reportings and selection of user comments. Say it ain't so CNN.

    October 6, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  17. California Voter

    Didn't Raines also go to Harvard?

    October 6, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. jules

    McCain left Michigan because he realizes that Michigan has been controlled by the Democratic party for about 40 years now. And that is why so many of them will be voting for Obama now. The Democrats have provided the state so much that they want to continue along the same path to greatness? Isn't Michigan the state that has one of the highest, if not the highest, rate of foreclosure? Haven't they lost a huge amount of jobs? Aren't they really suffering in Michigan? Go Dems and Michigan! More of the same.

    October 6, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  19. Concerned Voter

    Sarah Palin is a racist...and a negative venom spewing snake who has no record, no knowledge and no experience to run the country...so instead of just showing themselves to be the better candidates they choose to go extremely negative. Karma's coming on Nov. 4th...and has already begun to come back around for McCain/Palin....enjoy your Karma as Barack Obama is sworn in as the next President of the United States. I placed my vote for Barack Obama today!

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 6, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  20. death of the republican party?

    "My friends", I think we are witnessing the death of a party.

    McCain and his GOP thugs have realized that their sleazy attacks that have dominated American politics for so long aren't working this time around. As Sen. Obama said, he's running out of ideas and running out of time. The GOP is scrambling at the last minute trying everything they've got to tear down Barack Obama and the American people aren't falling for it. Now they're realizing that Obama is after their strongholds and he will probably get some of them.

    In twenty-nine we will be saying President-Elect Barack Obama from the great state of Illinois!


    October 6, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  21. heidi

    Palin, a real fighter would not the "HEELS AND GLOVES" ARE COMING OFF...WHO PUTS HEELS ON TO FIGHT.




    October 6, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  22. MikeH

    Sarah Palin is a highly toxic person who spews copious venemous lies. She is as immoral and frauduent a person as there ever was running for high office.

    The exorcisim to expunge her of witchcraft apparent did not work, because she certainly is one.

    I wonder when she will degenerate into talking in tongues.

    October 6, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  23. Joanna

    IDIOTS - I ONLY care about my future and that of the country – all these rhetoric about religion , terrorist links and this stupid politics...

    Get out of here....

    October 6, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |

    Awaiting moderation: It appears the spew of ignorance, hate or both is a prerequisite for CNN blog post

    October 6, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  25. Zaley

    Palin has given us many a giggle and lots of laughs. However , it's time the laughter stop. She is no longer funny, she's DANGEROUS. This woman is absolutely wacko.

    October 6, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
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