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. Jason from MO

    Palin is going to traditionally red states for the obvious reason, McCain is desperate. Let's stop kidding ourselves, the McCain/Palin ticket is doomed. To democrats: enjoy your victory come Nov. 4th, Obama will win hands down, and why? Because among other reasons McCain is too old, too much seen as a continuation of Bush, and also Obama is overwhemlingly considered better able to handle the economy. Plus, in reality Palin is not helping McCain overall, everyone knows it. To republicans: and especially to all those who wouldn't vote for Romney just because he was a mormon, you deserve 4 years of Obama/Biden. Romney would have been the stronger candidate on virtually all of the issues, and he certainly would have chosen more wisely for his VP than Palin. Romney for Prez 2012

    October 6, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |



    October 6, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. LONGV

    It is understandable, John McCain has solid records, while Barack Obama stands on his rhetorics and empty promises. That is why McCain feels confident. America also understands the real thing, true leadership, and the world at large, not just any single issue, espcially the dangerous world after 9/11.

    October 6, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. Mack

    CNN, why will you not atleast investigate the past connections of Barack Obama and settle the question once and for all. This is not good for the American people. You have all but ignored these connections and did the public and injustice. Now you are using Palin as cover..I am sorry, but your biased fact check is not reliable..I am sure I am headed to post heaven...but this needs to be said..Maybe you can squeeze my post into the ones you publish that call women names.

    October 6, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Gia in Los Angeles, CA

    I see SEVERAL red states turning blue this year....

    Go Obama/Biden '08!!

    October 6, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. SAGG

    Erika, KS October 6th, 2008 7:50 pm ET

    Oh Please. Only idiots can honestly vote for Obama. The only thing he has ever accomplished is a speech written by someone else, and with the aid of a teleprompter, he can tell you all day long how great he thinks he is. But then again, he's never accomplished anything, so we're right back to where we started. It's a disgrace the DNC backed him for the nomination. I cringe for the sake of all the others that came before this ego maniac, because they were told that Obama was the better one. How asinine. He's a slick used car salesman and that is all. I'm not buying his dribble.


    I'll proudly say this then: Call me an idiot. Obama/Biden!!

    October 6, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  7. victor,nj

    repugs are desperate and nervous about the idea of a black president. I just saw a clip of a florida sheriff refer to Obama as Barack Hussein Obama , when introducing Palin at a Florida rally. The repugs claim to be the party of moral values and religious faith, but it as become the party of bigots and ignorance. The repugs prey on division and hatred in the name of patriotism.

    I pray nobody tries to harm Obama due to lies perputuated by the likes of Sean Hannity, Linbaugh, foxnews and the McCain campaign.

    October 6, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  8. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 Years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    Erika: Obama writes his own speeches.
    By the way, how's your 401 been doing under bush/cheney?

    October 6, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  9. Anita from Arizona

    McCain, once again, exhibits poor judgment.

    Picking Palin, Keating 5, Comments about the economy being strong weeks before it's collapse, keeping Palin in a box and not allowing her to speak to reporters, and on and on and on....

    October 6, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. NB, VA

    McCain/Palin know that they are headed for a landside and so they are desperate enough to take the low blow and attack Obama personally and smear him to the point where voters have doubts about him. And even as the economy is going in the gutters and millions of hard working Americans are losing their jobs, savings, health care, and retirements, the McCain campaign has no ideas or solutions for these pressing issues. That is really sad and pathetic. But I am surprised how involved and focused people are in this election, at lease in Virginia– I am hearing from people who have never voted democratic in their lives and they are now supporting Obama because they really want to change the direction of this country. That tells me that Obama is definitely going to win a few of these so called "red" states come Nov 4th.

    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. DB - Colorado

    This shows how desperate McNoshame is...he is actually relying on Sarah Palin to win states in trouble with her Gothcha' politics and slander. All i can say is WOW!!!


    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  12. kathy

    The election day is Nov.4, don't care what polls show now
    it comes down to Nov.4th. Just stop and wonder where Obama
    got all that money for his campaign? Time will tell, history
    repeats it self. Don't think i would hang with the Kennedys!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  13. SUSAN

    October 6th, 2008 7:45 pm ET

    The Alaska Supreme Court is going to rule on the legislatures right to investigate the firing of a public officer the lawmakers had confirmed on Wednesday. The legislatures report will be out Friday. Aides to Gov. Palin say that they will now cooperate with the investigation.

    Please, put Sarah Palin on the record. She promised that she would be forthcoming and cooperative.


    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. AA


    Here is a quote...

    "Sooner or later people are going to figure out that if all you run is negative attack ads you don't have much of a vision for the future, or you're not ready to articulate it."

    – John McCain

    It is sad for him. This is his last ditched attempt at greatness that he never achieved. Read the Rolling Stone article, it is very telling into his make up.

    Too bad. After he lost his first bid for the presidency, he could have just spent the next 10 yrs. with his current job and retired with dignity.
    His wife has the money, he is comfortable.

    Now he is just a sad, desperate, cranky old man with not even any honor left. Very sad how power and greed corrupts.


    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. Roble

    if i was mccain i'll vote for Obama.

    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  16. Teresa of Orange County

    With the Trooper Gate now in full affect, McCain is trying to put the attention on Obama...but that won't work because everyone has turned their attention to the Keating5 website and the Economy crisis. McCain is swinging at the air blindingly. McCain has lost this political race. McCain can pretty much forget about telling is great-grand children he almost became the POTUS in 2008.

    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |

    Darn Right! MCSAMES are going to lose........wink wink.....oooooooooooooo SAY IT AINT SOOOOOOOOO

    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  18. cecil

    McCain Tell Gov. Palin To Keep Winking , Maybe That Will Help You.

    A Few Betchas Might Help Also.

    But You Keep Lying That Really Helps Sen. Obama.

    McCain/Palin Ticket; Trying To Flirt There Way Into The Big House, You Betcha!

    Two Freeze Pops, There Melting.

    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  19. annie - never again a dem.

    To vote democrat is to vote for a depression! barry hussein obama and the dem led congress are poised to throw our country into a depression as soon as ayres buddy is elected then they can turn our great country into a socialist, marxism country! To vote for bho is like saying 'hail hitler'.

    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  20. SoCal

    Once again, Palin's comment at the very end of the article, tells the whole story: "I’m going to Nebraska because I want to go to Nebraska."

    She's empty.

    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  21. Cuban-mami-4-OBAMA

    Oh brother, more attacks. You know what's amusing? The governor was upset by the "liberal media" asking her some "tough" questions. "Faux News" and GOP pundits cried foul!

    But now when McCain's campaign is in trouble, its perfectly okay to attack-lie-demean. All of a sudden they forget they are ......Christians.

    They can not talk about the economy, because Bush/Cheney/Republicans ruined it.

    They can not speak about solutions because McCain = Bush.

    ALL they have, as usual, is to attack-lie-demean. That's the Republican plan.

    They can not explain the Bush/Cheney/McCain legacy: $10 TRILLION in National Debt.

    They can not explain how even though the SURGE was a 'success' we are still.......... spending ........$10 BIILION a month in Iraq.

    They can not explain, how when Bush/Cheney took office, Bill Clinton had left a nice SURPLUS. BUT.........Bush/Cheney are leaving us, over $490..........BILLION........IN DEFICITS.

    The Republicans will try to SCARE US, LIE......attack, demean......... and do all they can to FOOL us.

    I SAY THANKS..........BUT .........NO...........THANKS.

    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. gwg

    CNN, based on the comments allow moderated through must be in the Obama camp.

    The fact is everything that comes out of McCain's or Palin's mouth is taken at face value. However when Obama speaks it appears CNN never repeats his statements unless they get his clarified approval.

    Fox may lean the other way, however they are not afraid to go after any comments.

    October 6, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. It's the Economy, Stupid!!

    Running Scared! One more sign of the Erratic McCain campaign.

    Obama needs to just talking Economy and how he will work to get us out of the mess that the Republicans have gotten us into.

    Go Obama!!

    October 6, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. Dave Florida for OBAMA

    All 50 States blue. Democratic majority in congess. We can get our economy back on track. In the 90's with a democratic President, millions of jobs were created. In 2008, 9 straight months of job losses under Bush/McCain economy.

    October 6, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  25. Boss in NC

    It pains me to say it, but I'd bet money that a significant portion of the blacks supporting Obama support him for one reason and one reason only: He's Black. I doubt they can articulate any other reasons.

    October 6, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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