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. Ashley

    John McCain and Sarah Palin are slinging the mud so fast and furious that it only hurts themselves. They are looking more and more desperate and foolish.

    October 6, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  2. Bluebonnet

    I am a registered Democrat and I have long been a supporter and fan of John McCain. If anyone has followed his political career, they would know without a doubt that McCain's Presidency would be nowhere near that of President Bush in philosophy, approach, style and results. I hope that folks will not get fooled and persuaded by misleading advertisements and partisan propaganda.

    John McCain is exactly what this country needs. We need a leader we can trust and who has a proven record of integrity and good decisions. Obama may be a good President someday, but now is not that day.

    I do not understand why anyone would not vote for McCain saying his VP choice is not experienced enough, only to vote for his opponent for President who has even less experience than his VP choice!

    All Americans need to remember they are voting to elect a new President first and foremost. Decisions on who to vote for should never be based upon a “what if” scenario that is likely to never even happen.

    Speaking of polls - I’ve always questioned how 1000 voices in a poll are truly capable of speaking for the other 300 million Americans. And for that reason, I continue to be amazed at how much credence is given to polling results.

    Wake up people!

    Psychologists call it the bandwagon effect. This is why new poll results are published daily. Evidence has long proven that some people vote for those candidates or parties who are likely to succeed (or are proclaimed to succeed by the media).

    I may not agree with all of Governor Palin's viewpoints, but I will give her the respect she is due. Regardless of what anyone says, sexism is at work against her just like it was against Senator Hillary Clinton – who I voted for in the primaries. I did not vote for Senator Obama because when it comes to running for President – he doesn't yet have the experience for that position.

    October 6, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. Eileen from Maine

    The pundits today on TV—one of them was saying, check out the vice president’s schedule.......................................
    She does suffer from delusions of grandeur.
    Nobody said check out the Vice President's schedule in regards to her.

    October 6, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  4. Tony H

    What a mess the Republican ticket has become.

    October 6, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  5. Thomas

    McCain / Palin are looking more and more like the Penguin and Cat woman from BAT MAN.

    Wow, that's a step up from Howdy Doody / Darth Cheney !

    October 6, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  6. tishoogle

    Mcshame and Pig with lip stick sure make a good pair. They both should go back to Alaska and have some moose lying pie!

    October 6, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  7. Tip Will

    Thanks a lot, Sarah. Every time you speak, the poll numbers for the other side go up, up, up. Betcha by golly wow, its over!!!
    Obama/Biden 08/12!!!

    October 6, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  8. CD

    It really sad that there is no love for John McCain. His GOP base don't care for him. His VP candidate draw bigger crowds than he do. The media covers her like she is at the top of the ticket. Maybe McBush and the Repubs can change the order on the ticket. Big John, living in the shadow of his #2.

    October 6, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  9. John Neale

    Looks like Operation Chaos is really paying off. Rush, Keep up the good work.

    October 6, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  10. jules

    Yes, L, I can understand why all the old Bush supporters are against McCain. They feel guilty about their previous stand, supporting him in the war and voting for him. Now, they are all so full of hate it's scary. Does anyone not notice how much hatred there is in our country? This, the greatest country on earth? Yeah, right. McCain is not Bush but if Obama says he is, by god, he is. McCain has a history of bucking Bush. Obama has no history of anything except following the party lines and, in fact, has the most partisan voting record of anyone.

    October 6, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  11. Hati

    The Palin/McCain camp seems pretty desperate- She is certainly no Hillary- and the 18 million votes she is hoping for will not fall into her lap as an inheritance would.

    WASP (Women Against Sarah Palin)

    Go Obama/Biden "08 -16

    October 6, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  12. Jam One

    I wish the mainstream media, including CNN would stop covering Ms. Palin until she goes before journalists who can ask her questions and make sure their questions are answered. There should be a media boycott on her until she sits down with the likes of Wolf Blitzer, Meet the Press, etc.
    By refusing to do this, Journalists are failing in their task as being the "Fourth" and most important pillar of democracy. Since we the voters are not getting the proper information to make an informed decision about this candidate.
    Another reason to boycott her, is quite frankly the Republicans are making Journalists look like a bunch of chumps. You publish anything that spews from Ms. Palin, trip all over yourselves trying to guess what she meant by it, all the while Republicans berate Journalists, call you sexist, liberals, etc. So, stop being used, grow a spine, show Palin – McCain just how powerful you are.

    October 6, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  13. KC

    It is realy a sad day here in America. There are so many clueless people. Look up your history people. I don't want any more closed minded cowboy mavericks in the white house! Look it up! A maverick is a cattel hustler. Oh for you city folk, that meens he steals his neighbors riches.

    October 6, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  14. Trish

    I still haven't heard Sarah say anything about the issues that matter. I am getting tired of her talking about issues she knows nothing about and running her mouth about something that happened in the 60's. I am sick and tired of all this bashing from her and McCain. Come on you witless twit, grow up and go back to Alaska cause you are not going to be the next VP or Pesident. She is living in a fanasty world if that is what she is thinking.

    October 6, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  15. perplexed



    October 6, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  16. connie

    on keith olbermann tonight he said
    the first dude was a member of a alaskan policial party that wants to not be apart of the usa the leader said some not so nice things about the usa and mrs palin gave a speech for the group in 2002 i believe he said. she has a pastor that seem alittle off himself.

    October 6, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  17. TJ

    After reading this story and observing alot of the comments posted on this article, it's easy to see why CNN is a second rate media outlet.
    Any honest viewer can plainly see that from the top (Ted Turner) on down , CNN has cast aside any semblance of objectivity or impartiality as a reputable source of journalism . I hardly think that CNN polls (or even others like Zogby or even Gallup) are an even remotely accurate reflection of national sentiment- considering that they hold less than 40% of the "market share" of news viewership; but , as always, the rest of us wish you liberals the best of luck living in your fantasy world. See you at the polls suckers !

    October 6, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  18. Jon

    Why aren't we talking about McCain cheating on his wife??? Seriously??? I'll bet you were the first one telling people that Clinton's cheating didn't mean anything.

    October 6, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  19. judy

    He's worried and desperate. The ads, the statements by Palin are beyond the pale. he lost my vote.

    October 6, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  20. jules

    OS – the Republicans are responsible for all the bad in the world. You are exactly why I know I am supporting McCain. Scary.

    October 6, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Hey JACK what do you find offensive about McCain's campaign? Seriously, was it the fact that he's been telling the truth about Obama and you guys can't stand to hear it?

    Well guess what, we're McCain's supporters and we're making sure that all these voters are educated as to how shady Mr. Obama really is!

    October 6, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  22. Amy

    I hope they spend all their money trying to hold onto former red states. It's time for change folks.

    October 6, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  23. Anna PA

    Wanted to let everyone know, if you haven't heard.

    McCain plans on cutting MEDICARE AND MEDICADE by 1 TRILLION dollars. I can't believe he would announce this but he has. So, please let any senior citizen who is a friend or family member know about what McCain's plans are for their health care. If they are planning on voting republican they may begin to rethink their vote!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 6, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  24. ChuckB

    The McCain camp's decision to go negative with personal attacks is a tacit admission that they can not win on the issues, especially as concerns the economy. It is obvious that on the economy, the majority isn't interested in buying what McCain has to sell, which is a repeat of the Bush Administration's policies. At this point, even Joe Sixpack doesn't want to hear that the rich are getting more money from another tax cut. Essentially the $700B bailout is a de facto tax cut ; McCain wants to pile $300B on top of that?

    October 6, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  25. htj

    If Sarah Palin can explain McCain's policies and plans, she will do well. If she's just going there to trash Obama............she may as well stay in Alaska. Her slander is boring, trite and makes her sound like an old fishwife.

    No one cares about Bill Ayers, or Jeremiah Wright...they want to know how McCain is going to rescue the economy, they want to know exactly how his health care plan is going to work for them, and they want to know that he understands the desperate need for people to be able to stay in there homes, feed their families and keep their jobs.

    If Palin can't talk about these issues she's wasting her breath and their time. Folks here don't like 'nasty'....they are much too sophisticated for smarmy low blows.....especially coming from women.

    October 6, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
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