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. Commonwealth

    Bayou Joe it's not Senator Obama's fault he didn't serve in the military. My father didn't serve in the military either. He , thank God, was between Korea and Vietnam. So just lay off Senator Obama because he wasn't called to serve. At least my Father and others like him followed the rules and didn't skip out on required stuff (unlike a certain other person in office right now).

    October 6, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  2. jules

    Jorge, sorry to burst your bubble but Obama really isn't black. He is 1/2 white, about 47% Arab and just a little black.

    October 6, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  3. Tommy

    CNN is not a "liberal haven"...it's just that hardly anyone is still supporting McCain and his pit bull...LOL!

    I can't believe there are still some sheep out there who continue to support Maverick and Goose...but, I guess that is the great thing about America...you have the freedom to choose...even when your choice is a bad one!

    October 6, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. Melissa

    don't you mean "spineration" P A LEASE
    just put up what I said. You seem to put up what these other liberal, head up there uh, in the sand, IQ below 70, comments.
    Come on CNN, let 'er rip.... Are you afraid your liberal backers will pout, or pull your funding? Good, then maybe you won't spin so much to the left. Let's see you even things up a bit.
    What say you, Meat Heads, uh I mean Media Heads!?!

    October 6, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  5. Sore Liberal LOSERS in 2008

    WOW – you liberals take the truth hard, don'tcha? NC and VA WILL NOT go for Obama. The polls are wrong, and were often wrong in the past two elections. This sleeping giant of a country is starting to wake up and will realize before election day JUST HOW WRONG OF A CANDIDATE OBAMA IS. No experience, No judgment, dubious connections, and NO major accomplishments in the Senate. NO taking on his own party, and NO signs of reformation. Empty pledges to lower taxes and NOT ONE SINGLE VOTE to lower taxes either in Illinois Senate NOR U.S. Senate. You liberal lemmings are the biggest ship of fools we've seen in this country in many, many decades. Such an uninformed, ill-suited group of people to be voting!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. Wrinkly and Winky


    Take your dimestore psychology and stick it where the sun doesn't shine...Alaska!!

    America has awaken and decided to vote for the future of this country instead of a dying past.

    October 6, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  7. Lana, California

    Looks like the May-December ticket is really going through the Depends by the gross!

    You smell that? It's the smell of desperation.

    Women for Obama

    October 6, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  8. Jim C in NJ

    We do not need the low road politics. McCain is desperate and he has no ideas. Obama and Biden are good intelligent sound choices. They both love our country very much and will try their best to fix the mess they are inheriting. I support Barack and I am looking forward to his State of The Union speeches. Finally I can get excited about what is going on in Washington for us again!

    Voting Obama/Biden in 08!
    Can't wait to cast my historic vote!

    October 6, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  9. Chipster

    McCain's campaign is bankrupt, like what the Republican leadership has done to our country. They have nowhere to go except the vicious personal attack route. On policy, they're running on empty. They've been in complete control for 7 years and have mismanaged practically every agency and situation. They're responsible for an exploding deficit, outsourced jobs, and a bloated government. Just this week, they've added yet another do-nothing agency that will be instructed not to enforce any regulations! Enough is enough!

    October 6, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  10. tngirl

    bluebonnet = obvious republican troll.

    October 6, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  11. Val

    Yeah we know you have taken the gloves are off, kick the heels off, but this all well and good, but, what about the BROOM?

    October 6, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. Denise Ohio

    I see a lot of call for investigating Obama. Where have you people been? He has been fully vetted by the press, Senator Clinton's staff
    the American people etc... As for money, I gave a small fundraiser
    and for the first time active in a campaign. So many people feel this way. As for voting for him because he is black, well I did not vote for
    Jesse,Alan Keys or Al Sharpton. So stick to the issues people. I live
    in what's called a dying city in the rust belt. (Dayton OH) SO PLEASE

    October 6, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  13. Pepsi

    She sure is setting a good example for her children. I am sure her parents and her children can hold their heads up high and be so proud of her. I would be totally ashamed. She has no moral values what so ever. And her children have their whole life to deal with how their mother has handled herself. It is too bad Palin thinks more of her own career than what her family will have to deal with in the years to come. That is one of the most selfish acts.

    OBAMA-BIDEN 2008

    October 6, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  14. jules

    Voter, they don't want to deport Latinos. Legal Americans want to deport illegals Latinos only. It's called 'law' and is important to a civil society.

    October 6, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  15. Tommy

    "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!"

    LMAO!!!! That was great!

    October 6, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  16. Erica

    To Concerned Canadian: Let me start off by saying your racist comment is neither a surprise nor any type of offense to my race or myself.
    You see, African Americans or blacks as you have stated have voted for white candidates for years. Now, the other 1/2 of black America that you are referring to has never taken an initiative to vote because they felt there was not a candidate that defined true leadership, embarked a true plan for the country, or frankly never really inspired Americans to engage themselves into politics.
    Now, let me make it clear to you that millions of blacks are not voting for Obama because of his race, we are voting for him because we realize that politicians such as Bush, McCain, and Palin are not concerned about poor white Americans or black Americans, their concern is for greed, money, and power.
    So, if you want to insult black people for supporting Obama please make sure you ridicule the millions of non-blacks who voted for Bush. I think we can pat ourselves on the back for not making such a demoralizing choice.

    October 6, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Gov Palin is a polarizing culture warrior and she's only too happy to pile on the slander and distortion. So much for bipartisanship from McCain. I used to be okay with McCain, but I can't imagine the McCain/Palin ticket bringing the country together to confront the economic crisis or any of the other serious problems we face. Moreover, the GOP disdains government and when they get into power they don't know what to do with it. At least with Obama we have the possibility of a competent administration that takes good governance seriously.

    October 6, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  18. Firs Time Florida Voter

    The Mccain campaign is using a proven failed playbook. Instead of focusing on the issues that plague me as an American, they want to turn the page on this disastrous economy? This is disgusting and America wont tolerate this rehashed garbage.

    October 6, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  19. carol

    John and Sarah are on a bridge to nowhere....gosh darn it!!!!!
    This McPalin ticket has really gone over the top and are down in the mud now......and that is where they should be... but I have more respect for pigs!!
    Time to send these two disgusting people back home.....nobody wants to see these two anymore.....sick to the back teeth of them both!

    October 6, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  20. Shoreline

    Just when you think John McCain can stoop no lower, he does.

    Apparently with some people there is no bottom.

    October 6, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  21. ErracticBehavior

    McCain promised an honorable campaign I guess he is not even the leader of his party. McCain/Palin looks desperate then to get audences shouting kill and hate speak volumes of where they want to take the country. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who hates others. We are all Americans--Shame on you McCain! I have lost all respect for someone who wants to take the country to such violence!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  22. Bea in Dallas, TX

    If she could only answer one question......We are watching desperation at work!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  23. marge

    Anonymous October 6th, 2008 10:37 pm ET

    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!
    YOu guess what???? we're making sure the voters are educated as to how dishonest,and "dirty" McPOW really is too!!!!
    Nov 4 will decide who did the better job fo educating the voters....wont it????

    October 6, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  24. Alvin Swerve

    Why do conservatives start their comments with "I am a registered Democrat/Independant, but . . . " then show that they are hard core Republicans with everything that follows? Do they think we are not familiar with that hokey trick?

    October 6, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  25. McInsane

    McCain might have more experience but it's not the kind of experience we need right now. He has very little experience with economics (and has said as much in the past) and recently stated that the economy looked good!!
    Plus you mention trust but I could never trust McCain after how he has changed since being a presidential candidate and after he picked Palin as his running mate.
    You may be able to let that slide but she is scary and there is a very REAL chance that she could be president if they get elected.

    Obama is the right person right now.

    October 6, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
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