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. Frank Giorno

    McCain Campaign's decisions to unleash Sarah Palin's negative invectives against Obamas smack of desperation and will fail. Also by raising questions about Obama's past relations with Ayres, Palin also opens the door for scrutiny of her "paling' around with the Alaska Independence Party which wants to separate from the United States. In addition there are still the unexplained questions about links between both presidents Bush, the Republican Party and the Bin Laden family. The Republican under Reagan and Bush Senior funded Osama Bin Laden during the 1980s war with the Soviet Union over Afghanistan.

    October 6, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  2. just wondering

    I am totally convinced that the news coverage is slanted toward favoring Obama. I have just attended a fall festival in Indiana and the Republican committee could not keep McCain/Palin yard signs in stock. As fast as they could get them delivered and put together, people were asking for them!!!! CNN, don't be surprised on election night if the silent majority steps forward once again!!! So much for your "Obama gaining bigger lead on McCain." How about checking with middle America.

    October 6, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. Watching from the sidelines

    John McCain is desperate and we all know the saying about how dangerous a desperate man can be! I wonder how so many people are not able to see through what McCain is attempting!!!

    October 6, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  4. Flex

    Did anybody notice how the McCaine campaign is so confident that they'll win NC? Can they be so confident to say that about the entire country?

    October 6, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  5. 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 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  6. James M.

    In times of desperation, go for the personal attacks! This is what the McBush campaign is teaching us. Our country has an economy in the toilet, we are spending too much on a war way over expired and our dependency on foreign energy is shameful. We can do better...but we absolutely need the leadership that understands and embraces the future needs of our country. McCain and his compadres had their chance. Time for a change of guard. Time for Obama.

    October 6, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  7. Ann

    You say that you are "McCain's supporters and we're making sure that all these voters are educated as to how shady Mr. Obama really is!"

    I wonder why you don't put your name to your statement. I was always told that if someone wrote a letter and signed "anonymous" then it was shady.

    October 6, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  8. D. Arnold

    Obama needs a TV ad in North Carolina revealing McCain's plan to cut Medicare 1.3 trillion dollars! This would change some votes!

    October 6, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  9. Harvest

    Palin and McShame are the perfect set of NITWITS!!!! They have no clue, no plan, and have stooped to the lowest of low. Palin knows ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about Obama, or about much of anything for that matter. McShame can't think of what to do about the economy and continues to show himself to be erratic, out of touch, and to have poor judgment.

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  10. Ella - TX

    To the Maverick dumb duo:

    Palin/McCain are both idiots to think anyone cares about 40 years ago America is hurting NOW!

    IT"S THE ECONOMY STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  11. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    Point of diminishing returns.

    They start butchering the mules, it's over.

    October 6, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  12. Sam Barber

    Hey Bluebonnet, how much has the McCain campaign paid you to be their shill? Your words have no sincerity to them at all.

    October 6, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  13. juiceball

    "You will know their names and I will make them famous" – Just Another LIE!!! – Ask the senator from ALASKA – he received a lot of PORK in the so called "bail-out" bill.

    October 6, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. TerryDoRight

    Sarah Palin is so charismatic, she is intelligent, clever and dedicated.

    This is what a true feminist looks like, this is what the next vice-president looks like.

    Brains+Good looks+plus intuitively one with the people....

    October 6, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  15. Barbara Campbell

    If the 28,000 who turned out for Senator Obama's rally here in Asheville, NC, is any indication, Obama will nail this state.

    Remember, polls haven't included cell-phone-only users and newly registered voters.

    Further, the McCain/Palin/Fox News sleaze of the past few days will backfire.

    October 6, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  16. Darrel from Denver

    Game over, McCain. You have really lost it. Go ahead and go negative, it's all you have ever done in your entire life.

    Take Barbie with you. She is a clown.

    October 6, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  17. Val

    There is no way that I would vote for someone who was a part of the S&L crisis. I remember that big mess and McCain's part and Bush part. Vote McCain? No Way!!!!

    October 6, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  18. Wilbert

    I hate to break it to all the crazy liberals here, but this race has been in the bag for Obama for a long time. The republicans made some long term decisions in this race. They selected a 70 some year old guy to be their canidate. then they selected Palin, a small, population state, to be the running mate. Essentially they will be able in 4 or 8 years to go into these elections with a clean slate. obama will win this election, the real test will be if he wins the one four years from now.

    October 6, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  19. Kris K in CA

    Palin is losing it for the Republicans. Everyone at work is laughing at her.We feel she is running for President and has run over McCain.IT is bad news all the way around for Republicans.What is McCain thinking-or is he???

    October 6, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  20. Fraud

    Does anyone care what this poser-bunny disaster even says? One day she can't read a newspaper and the next day she's lecturing to idiots? What a travesty and a circus act.

    October 6, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  21. rowzeer

    Sarah is an elitist....just the other day she admitted she drank Starbucks Mocha Latte.

    October 6, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  22. KJL

    Another audience to parade her pregnant teenager and poor little baby in front of?

    October 6, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  23. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    May I call you pit bull

    October 6, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  24. Abe

    Seems like you've a hard time distinguishing facts from smear. Look at the platforms of both campaign before you start to throw vitriolic. The truth of the matter is that in this campaign Obama is proving to be the better candidate.

    October 6, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  25. Change We Need

    It's pretty obvious that the Republicans are running SCARED!! Alot, of "former" red states are turning blue. Let's stick to what matters most to the American people, the ECONOMY!!

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 6, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
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