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. Firs Time Florida Voter

    Mccain's dignity must have died within the walls of that POW camp he was held in, because he is a complete disgrace to this nation.

    October 6, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  2. Melissa

    Do you Dems even research for truth? Did you know that they are investigating Obama's uh, donation practices. He seems to be getting a lot of monies from Islamic countries, Muslim organizations, and the names are a bit funny too; "Good Will" instead of Tarik Al Hussein or some such thing. Obama gets lots of money from this guy and has had to give back thousands of dollars because the Campaign governance people are now seeing how he is raising his money. By illegally accepting over the quota allowed under the Campaign laws. Look it up. Obama is not an honest person, nor does he employ honest people. Folks this guy is a Mac Daddy and he will pimp our our country so fast, it will make even your head spin.

    October 6, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  3. Stacy from Leesburg VA

    Now, those battleground states like Nebraska, Texas, and North Carolina will help them win the POTUS right?

    October 6, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  4. Betty

    Scott in Fairfax...I'd like to know where you get your 3,000 number because I'd like to confirm it for myself.

    But here's the kicker... in my family the republicans are voting democratic this year so those are negative votes McCain should have gotten but won't. Admittedly we were leaning Obama but Palin made it happen – no way, no how! (I have to admit, I miss the family debates though)

    Love the early voting by the way. McCain will be a day late and a dollar short by the time he actually starts talking about the issues instead of about Barack.

    October 6, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  5. Dave

    smear won't work this time. What's McCain thinking about with his VP choice?

    October 6, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  6. Nate in PA

    I love how the below comment by anonymous is exactly that. Way to speak up chief.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 6, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  7. Reality

    McCAIN is going to McLOSE on McNOVEMBER 4th !!! and McPALIN can go back to McALASKA !!!!


    OBAMA / BIDEN 2008

    October 6, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  8. Dave from Menifee

    Smear won't work. What's McCain thinking with his VP choice?

    October 6, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  9. jules

    Sylvia, Principles like Obama's? Connections to terrorists? Connections to radical preachers? Connections to Fannie/Freddie heads? These aren't maybes. They are known facts.

    October 6, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  10. rowzeer

    Scared of Obama.....you cowards are the same ones who send our troops to die in a foreign land in the name of "freedom" and then turn around and give it up so easily on our own soil....

    O is not a Muslim...he's a better Christian than Palin.....who bears false witness and is cruel enough to make rape victims pay for rape kits.

    October 6, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  11. Reality

    McCAIN is going to McLOSE on McNOVEMBER 4th !!! and McPALIN can go back to McALASKA !!!!

    THEY BOTH McSUCK !!!!!

    OBAMA / BIDEN 2008

    October 6, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  12. Joshua College Station Texas

    My friends back in North Carolina will make the right decision and vote for the steady, consistent, and disciplined candidate with the best ideas to help America, Barack Obama.

    October 6, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  13. QG

    They both will be out of their misery on November 4th

    October 6, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  14. c.w.

    The McCain-Palin campaign underestimated the intelligence of the people of North Carolina and now that Obama has a legitimate chance of winning N.C. they are going to try to scare the Tar Heel state into voting Republican. Their early presumptuousness in ignoring N.C. and its 15 electoral votes may come back to haunt them.

    October 6, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  15. Kristen

    I can't wait to vote for Obama/Biden. This is going to be one LONG month!

    October 6, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  16. Kathryn Richardson

    Sarah Palin seems to have no problem lying and taking things out of context. No wonder she and McCain get along. That must be the maverick in them. She should have charges pressed against her for name calling. She says Obama is a terroist...I wonder what she and Putin having going through her kitchen window. I wonder if she likes being McCain's "go fer". He is using her and making a fool of her. When is she going to wake up? It's one thing to stretch the truth, but, to out and out lie like she and McCain are doing is childish and sickening. It is showing in the polls. People are sick of their republican games. They need to make sure their own back steps are clean before they worry about anyone else's. Kate from Becker

    October 6, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  17. Mike, Vancouver

    One by one the dominoes begin to fall,

    have a nice day Senator McCain and by the way Governor Palin has used a heavy hand in Alaska.

    No need to air it here but it is her demsie.

    If I cannot have my way, I will use the scorched earth phylosiphy to obtain the McCainism we want.

    October 6, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  18. Change

    Country First? I think not. It is absolutely frightening where we find ourselves as a country at this moment in time. Palin attends a rally today and people are yelling "Kill him" when she references Obama. Really, how much lower can you go Gov. Palin? The McCain campaign is reckless and anything but Country First. The Maverick and Jane Six Pack need to wake up and be accountable for the hate and anti-country and anti-citizen sentiments that are spewing forth from each of them.

    God Help Us All.

    October 6, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  19. Huntsville, TX

    All the negativitity is ridiclious. On Sept 3, 2008, CBS news reporter, John Bentley, did a story about an alleged Palin affair. John McCain threatened to sue. There was an article

    October 6, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  20. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    GOP has lost the election.... THANK GOD

    Enough with the fascist prohibitionist tendencies that have crippled this country over the last 8 years...


    PS: Enjoy Troopergate Investigation, Barbie!

    October 6, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  21. Jeff

    Bush hasn't quite destroyed the country yet. We need 4 more years of the GOP to finish the job. This is apparently what the McCain supporters are angling for.

    October 6, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  22. NoMccain

    Mccain/Palin are fueling the racial hatred toward Muslims and Obama in this campaign. They are not rejecting the "terrorist" remarks recently yelled out by someone in the crown in Florida. Mccain's campaign attracts prejudicial bigots.

    October 6, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  23. Ian

    If McCain is going to shake up Washington, why did he vote to bail out a bunch of bankers?

    It's clear that neither side cares to represent us.

    Vote Third Party!!!

    October 6, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  24. Haskell

    Pointing fingers and calling names is one thing. Laying out all the facts, and warts, is something else. If you want to buy spin, hype, and racial identity, that is your choice. But many of us want to see pros and cons of each candidate clearly laid out. More than eighty-five percent of blacks support Obama? Lot of good thinking going on there.

    October 6, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  25. Ian

    I can't believe Palin had an affair with her husbands former business partner. Makes sense considering McCain's track record on fidelity.

    October 6, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
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