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. Sam in ky

    It's not just her schedule that shows they're desperate. Really, is there anything Palin and McCain won't try to win? I don't think so. McCain should be really worried. If he wins, he'll be the only thing standing in the way of the Barracuda and the presidency.

    October 6, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  2. VJ

    cnn.....what is wrong with you people......does anyone read this stuff before you put it out on the internet??????I'm for McCain /Palin I think they would be a better team for our country today......I think they will be more effective rooting out the crooks in washington.......but as much as I would like McCain/Palin to win ....I could never say some of the awful things about BO / Joe B that I read here........whenever I'm wondering what other people are saying about this election I flip from Fox to cnn but I'm sorry I just can't listen to long to cnn unless it is lou dobbs.

    October 6, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  3. heidi

    Palin, a real fighter would know the "HEELS AND GLOVES" ARE COMING OFF…WHO PUTS HEELS ON TO FIGHT.





    October 6, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  4. Ally

    Palin is an absolute fool. She will say anything to get attention.

    October 6, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  5. Wonerding and Bewildered

    It's amazing that people uphold a misinformed person like Mrs. Palin. I can't help but wonder if Sen Obama or Sen Biden made the kind of horrble goofs Palin made would the race for the White House be over for the Democrats. why do we punish intelligence and call it elitist? Why do we celebrate ignorance and call it relating to the common folk? I'm everyday people and I in no way relate to Palin. It's just ridiculous.

    Obama/Biden 2008/2012
    Hillary not Palin 2016/2020

    October 6, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  6. No McCain/Brandy for Obama

    I have no respect for her...I still can't get over the fact that she answered NO questions in the vice presidential debate. Instead she repeated the same generalizations over and over again. No substance to this woman at all. She had no defense or real points and not once did she successfully explain what the McCain/Palin ticket would do for our sickened economy. It amazes me how anyone could vote for this pair. God help us if these two make it to the White House.

    Obama-Biden 08

    October 6, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  7. Bill Charlotte,NC

    If you are one of the few who haven't made up ypur mind yet, consider the following:

    McCain: "Anyone that runs a negative campaign either has nothing to say or can not articulate it.

    McCains' campaign senior advisor: " We have to go negative, if we talk about the economy..the issue..we lose."

    McCain, after losing in 2000 in the S.C. primary: "There is a special place in hell for the people who have run this campaign against me." At that time they worked for Bush, now they all work for McSame!

    Finally, in N.C. where I live, McCain during the primary asked the RNC to stop running a negative ad about Rev. Wright...saying, "There is no place in my campaign for this type of politics and I won' tolerate it."
    Today, the "try anything-erratic-change the subject-hail Mary" campaign had the female bulldog herself giving a "shout out" about Rev. Wright.

    THis campaign has lost its bearings and by their own admission, has no solution to offer on the issues.

    Today, my vote will be for someone who is talking about what is scaring the hell out of me (economy)... not Ayers... not Rev. Wright... BUT THE ECONOMY! I am voting for Obama.

    October 6, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  8. Paul

    Sarah Palin brings up William Ayres and Rev. Wright as if no one had ever heard of them before. Hillary tried to make these people stick to Obama and she failed. Palin uses these worn out smear tactics as if she hadn't read a newspaper or magazine in the last year...and here I thought she'd read ALL of them!

    October 6, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  9. Jesus Praising & Freedom Loving Patriot

    McCain IS just like Bush

    Same smear tactics that Bush used on McCain himself in 2000!

    October 6, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  10. Chris

    McCain/Palin are making Bush/Cheney look authentic to me. I'm genuinely disturbed by this Republican ticket. i am no lefty, just a person who values integrity.

    October 6, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. Obama 08

    Palin...look at yourself before calling Obama all kinds of names. You have lied, commited adultry (with a friend of Todds), troppergate....you are no Christian. I am so ashamed to be a part of this country. The US is a joke to the rest of the country. Once respected but no longer. You are racist...how can you people vote for such an individual.

    October 6, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  12. Bobbye

    Sarah Palin has a big mouth and an empty head. McCain should have at least chosen a woman with a measurable IQ.

    October 6, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  13. GOP for Obama

    RUN, Sarah, RUN....................................................................................................................................................................all the way back to Alaska!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  14. terry in fl

    Republicans MUST not get comfortable that we have this race in the bag! VOTE! Vote now, vote early and challenge your state officials to ensure voter fraud is NOT being committed!

    October 6, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  15. TyWebb

    "You're on a roll, kid. Enjoy it while it lasts...'cause it never does."

    Hal Hollbrook to Charlie Sheen in "Wall Street"

    October 6, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  16. Juan Grain

    Come on to North Cackylacky Sarah sixpack, bring you hanky with you, girlfriend Dole gonna need it!

    October 6, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  17. jules

    Suzy – I hope you don't get old. I'm sure you will be as useless as McCain and the rest of the baby boomers that can relate to him.

    October 6, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  18. Chloe

    Sarah Palin is so desperate that she's looking more and more of a pathetic fool.

    October 6, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  19. ENOUGH


    Be a man McCain.

    October 6, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  20. Brian L

    Using swift-boat tactics to smear Obama is the latest in a litany of bad decisions the McCain campaign has made (including his VP selection) in this election. It's all backfiring. John, America isn't going to take its eye off the ball this time. What a sad eulogy this failed campaign will be for a man whose best decision in life was cheating on his loyal but crippled wife with a beer heiress.

    October 6, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  21. Sarah Bell, Cleveland, OH.

    NA NA. NA NA NA NA. HEY HEY HEY. GOOOD BYE. NA NA. NA NA NA NA. HEY HEY HEY. GOOOOD BYYYE!!! Good bye John McCain and Sarah Palin. = )

    October 6, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  22. Kathryn, Portland, ME

    McCain has no honor left. That's what happens when the Republican "machine" gets rolling. It steam rolls anything in its way, no matter how untruthful and slanderous. It's disgusting.

    October 6, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  23. ron powell

    McCain is in serious trouble. I'm 63 and a lifelong Hoosier and I think Obama will win this state for the first time since 1964 when I was just graduated from high school. The Obama ground game is amazing, as is lnew voter registration. Rumors are that just in Bloomington the Obama people have registered 10K students. They will break 80% for Obama because they can read the job numbers of 8% unemployment likely, 800K jobs lost since Jan. etc. Most people think we can't afford four more years of the Bush/McCain policy, especially people who are affected by their failed policies.

    October 6, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  24. jules

    Get Real – Obama's voting record – 96% partisan. Let's see him work across the aisle.

    October 6, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  25. S. Holt

    Palin and McCain are desperate. Obama should disregard all these false accusations and concentrate on the economy, health care and education. Voters are concerned about the issues. Republican tactics are tacky. Palin really wants the White House and the Presidency.

    October 6, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
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