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 Zaydel

    I am not sure about others, but I am disgusted with all the mud slinging. All I want to know is where candidates stand on various issues and why they think their policies are better than their opponent's. McCain's attempt to call Barak a terrorist is equivalent to calling him a muslim radical. I am just sick of this. All these attacks tell me that candidates are running out of things to talk about. Let's get back to the issues and stop personal attacks.

    October 6, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  2. Jerry R Lucas RN Indiana

    I am the only person in this country that is more worried about our country then some patry crap. Our we the people that far gone that we must hate each other because we need to win for our team.

    When you spend 100 times more then you will ever get paid is it the job you want or the power. Health Care is one of our next biggest problems 250,000 nurses short and getting worse each day. I have not heard anything about that or the cost to me and you if you cut my pay. I am one needle stick away from AIDS or Hep-c and we want to do what with health care.

    Can we for once quit trying to kill each other over some one good or bad that wants more than we get. Can we remember that our country is at it lowest and find an answer talking to each other not about each other. GOD needs to save us because we are doing a great job going to He**

    Jerry R LUcas RN
    Male Nurse Magazine .com

    October 6, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  3. Larry, Apex, North Carolina

    We are doing EVERYTHING we can here to elect Mr. Obama. You can count on us!

    October 6, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  4. Jasmine

    With every attack, Senator Obama moves up in the polls.

    October 6, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  5. Seattle Voter

    I'm sorry to say that Sarah Palin don't care what the future of America. Be realistic. How can she handle her position as a VP and raise a family? She have a pregnant 17 year old and a special need child. While serving as a VP, is she going to stay in ALASKA and Charge tax payer for her service per diem? Do we want someone to represent us in the world that has no knowledge what is going on around the world? I'm sure a lot of Republicans out there are not happy with PALIN. She sure can talk street talk. To me she doesn't fit as a CONSERVATIVE. Her family is dysfunctional and certainly don't have the morality value. I wonder how her kids are doing in school.

    October 6, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  6. Tyler in Raleigh

    Being an independent in NC, I have to say its not looking good for McCain. Most of the people I know are either voting Obama, or for those that don't like him 3rd party.

    Palin was a low blow to independents and anyone that still respects the office of President. His flip flop on the economy, suspending his campaign and negative attacks sealed it....

    October 6, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  7. Enchantment

    This weekend while doing household chores my little gr dtr was listening to music.she started to chant her own lyrics singing "Barack Obama, Barack Obama, Barack Obama". This went on for at least 5 mins. You have to wonder. Then when I ask who is going to win the presidential race, between McCain and Obama, my other gr son said McCain won't win because he is too old and his back hurt so he can't run fast to win. I just died with laughter, kids say and do the darnest thing. They learn a lot of visual perception in school nowadays.

    October 6, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  8. Hope for the Future

    I wonder what Palin will do on Halloween. She can't possibly turn into a worse witch than she is already.
    Today, I donated another $50 for Obama/ Biden and bought more goodies from their store.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 7, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  9. Naomi

    You are quite right! Enough! Stop the negative smearing campaign. Stick to the issues. Show the American people what you can do for this country to save it from bleeding further. Jobs, the economy, ending the war, rebuilding our reputation throughout the world with our allies, energy, global warming, etc. Show us how you can walk the walk not just talk the talk. Stop badgering one another. The American people are smart enough to see through this.

    October 7, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  10. Denika

    I wish I could vote for Obama, but I can't as I am Canadian!

    October 7, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  11. go away mongers- Ventura,CA


    October 7, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  12. My Common Sense Actually Works

    **Sigh.... There are silly moments when I wish I am a RNC campaign strategist. It breaks my heart and drives me crazy to see this party's campaign strategy. It is like seeing a lost lamb (McCain) in a heavy downpour (economic crisis) and mistakenly seeking comfort from a big, bad wolf in red riding hood clothing (Palin). My simile is perfect. Btw, we all know who ate the lamb and what happened to the wolf, right??? *wink*wink**smile

    October 7, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  13. First Dude

    McCain has been on the Defensive ever since he named her as his choice. McCain is losing his marbles.

    October 7, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  14. realist

    Iam glad to see America come to its senses. Id hate to have to say I told you so again. I dont think we could come out of it, again.

    October 7, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  15. Robert

    Trailing in the polls, it was only a matter of time before McCain came out flailing wildly with this sort of insubstantial and inaccurate nonsense. It definitely illustrates his desperation, and I think it will backfire. It will appeal only to the conservative base, and those votes are safe for the GOP. It will turn off independents and swing voters who, rightly so, are more concerned with REAL issues such as the economy, health care, Iraq, etc.

    October 7, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  16. Tara

    McCain is out of his mind. He's grasping at straws and making a complete idiot out of himself. Between Palin pitching her lies and falsehoods, they both belong in the looney bin.

    October 7, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  17. Sarah Smith

    the Palin Plan backfired

    aw shucks!

    October 7, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  18. Disgusted Voter

    Palin is one to talk! The biggest hyprocite!

    October 7, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  19. Dal CA

    Ohio polls show Obama leading there. Is McCain going to pull out of PA and Ohio now. I think that will be the best thing for him to do. Pull out of PA and Ohio...... send the pitbull back to Alaska where the next set of polls will show Oama gaining as well.

    October 7, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  20. Stephen L Spero

    To me, the extreme negative campaigning is what the Republicans are best at. They have been doing it since Nixon was in office. Four years ago it was the Swift Boat people.
    The difference this time is that Obama is willing to fight back.

    October 7, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  21. Dee

    Of course McCain camp is worried. Why talk about the economy? why talk about the war? let's focus on Sen. Obama's character and not what the voting public want to hear about. Sheesh

    October 7, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  22. xargaw

    Everday that Obama does not take the bait he looks more Presidential. Everyday he delivers his positive message and speaks seriously about the issues of the economy, jobs, heathcare and foreign policy to Americans on an adult level he looks Presidential. The snide insults and ineuendos from McCain and Palin make them appear desparate and small. Everytime they take the low road they look incapable and one dimensional, ill-equipped for the challenges. After all, if they aren't talking about solutions like Obama is talking about solutions it must be because they have no solutions. The contract between the two campaigns is astounding. Obama is a capable executive. McCain is an erratic and ineffectual scrambler.

    October 7, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  23. Lucas

    I think McCain has lost his last marble.

    October 7, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  24. Lisa

    I agree with McCain when it came to choosing a woman for vice president, unfortunately for him it was the wrong one. Palin came into this election and is making a mockery of the electoral process. At this point I think that Tina Fay from Saturday Night Live would make a better vice president than Palin. She needs to learn how to keep her mouth shut and stop trying to smear Obama. The more she opens her mouth, the more everyone is starting to realize what a joke she really is. Everything that comes out of her mouth is ridiculous. I have to stop and wonder if she really believes her own lies. She should be focusing on the economy and her pregnant daughter but instead she is focusing on smearing Obama. I guess that is because she has no clue as to what is really going on in the world. I am sad to say that because of Palin, I will be voting for a democrat for the first time in my life.

    October 7, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  25. Landon

    I've lost all respect for John McCain.

    October 7, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
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