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. Something to Consider

    In an attempt to degrade Barack Obama, I have frequently read comments where Barack is refered to as Osama. ALL Americans should DENOUNCE such comments.
    Bin Laden carried out the most devastating attack on American soil with nearly 3,000 people dying on 9/11. U.S soldiers are fighting, are being injured and are dying because of his horrific attacks, while Bin Laden is a live and well. Sadly some hateful Americans find it wise to refer to an American presidential candidate as Osama. Bin Laden is not running for president and as an American I resent the suggestion. As you write Osama to refer to Barack Obama please think how cruel this is to the victims and the families of 9/11. The use of Osama as a political argument showcases the worst side of America. We are better than this and deserve better than this. Demand it.

    October 6, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  2. Mr Sleaze

    After McCain kicks Obama's butt in the debates and after more and more people realize who Obama really is (or what he isn't), NC will remain red in November. If the McCain campaign were smart, they'd hammer Obama on his Reverend Wright connection.

    October 6, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  3. Old Guy

    Do you know how to tell when Sarah is lying, her lips are moving!

    October 6, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  4. Joe

    Kathy 300 dollars of Obama's money came from me!

    October 6, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  5. Ewww!

    CNN is so pro-O it makes me sick!

    October 6, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. Any fabre

    Send her back to Alaska soon as possible, she's pathetic and so is Mcsame.

    October 6, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  7. Greedy

    millions of dollars .

    Find out , where has all this come from ?
    CEOs and Ex-CEOs have been giving lotta money to Democrats lately.

    October 6, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. Ron L

    The MOST important issue concerning Governor Pailn is this. Here total resume: 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state that is very oil rich, with only 650,000 people. Now all of a sudden she's qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive and next in line behind a man in his eighth decade. Even though her CBS interviews with K. Kouric shows (or least strongly hints) she REALLY does not even have a slight grasp on the real problems confronting our nation. The only real strength she has displayed is the ability to deliver WELL REHEARSED talking points!! WHY aren’t we DEMANDING interviews on CNN’s –ELECTION CENTER; NBC’s -MEET THE PRESS; ABC’s – THIS WEEKEND; CBS’s -FACE THE NATION; CNN’s -THE SITUATION ROOM before the end of October.

    October 6, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Erika – He's never accomplished anything? An undergraduate degree, a law degree, president of the Harvard Law Review, a constitutional lawyer at the University of Chicago, a community organizer, a state senator, and a U. S. Senator. That's nothing?

    The only reason that someone would call that nothing is because they're blind or racist. If a white person had that resume, you would consider them very accomplished.

    October 6, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Luis R

    Palin and MCCain:

    When all else fails fall back on the Bush tactic "FEAR FEAR FEAR". Scare them back.

    And they say he's different. Ruling a country using fear has brought us all to this point. Stop scaring us to do what you want.


    October 6, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  11. Jill

    The Republican ticket had better hope for voting machine malfunctions and for the state of Florida to have the "chad" issue fall McCains way.

    October 6, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  12. S Ballard

    Run McCain run.

    The landslide is starting early.

    Obama is inspirational, you and Palin are not.

    October 6, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  13. Craeg, Canada

    I'm getting confused. John McCain trash-talks Republicans, he and Palin seem to have opposing policies and now Palin is off to a state that is about to tip to the Democrats. Palin will turn this state blue for sure.
    US politics is so much more interesting/bizare than Canadian politics. Good luck to all.

    October 6, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  14. Mack

    Barack Obama was 40 when Bill Ayers refused to apologize for his terrorist attacks on his own country and wished he would have done more. Obama also served on a speaking panel with Ayers, in which the school paper at the time reported on Ayers past. Obama knew about Ayers and still continues to not be honest about his past. Americans need the truth.

    October 6, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  15. Bushwacked Nation

    Blue state, you saw me standin' alone
    Without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own
    Blue state, you knew just what I was there for
    You heard me sayin' a prayer for
    Someone I really could care for

    October 6, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  16. Annie S.

    Palin has a big mouth and an empty head.

    October 6, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  17. B in NC

    When all is said and done, NC will go with McCain. 30 days is an eternity in a Presidential election. The Obama campaign has been smart in keeping everyone guessing who Obama reallly is.

    October 6, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  18. kathy

    I love how the republicians get the blame for all of the mess
    that the USA in in. Its not only the republicians its the Democrats
    too. Both are to blame for tall of this. Can't blame it on one
    group they are play together, one pats the other backs and so
    on. We don't really have a say so anyway!!!!! with Obama
    getting nominated that shows you that a lot of voters do not count
    its the big wigs in DC.

    October 6, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. Rick

    O there you go again Silly Sarah, always looking backwards (to make sure "honest john" McCain isn't staring at you) and not looking forward for the future of the American people...

    October 6, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. Tonya voting in 2008

    Mel in GA thats a great idea when ever they get off the subject all we need to do is remind them GOOD OL BOYS that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    October 6, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  21. Lee

    The one who question where he is getting money from....he's getting it from us the people who want change. Our 5, 10, 15 and 20 dollar contributions add up.

    October 6, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  22. Independent Voter in NC

    Palin can visit all she wants, it won't change anything now that bankers have started losing their jobs here in Charlotte. NC will be blue on 11/4.

    October 6, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  23. Lexie

    All McCain and palin can do now is to sling the mud fast and furious. What a pair of idiots!!

    October 6, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  24. Nobama

    America: Full of dumb white folk.

    October 6, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  25. Defining moment

    Pathetic and desperate joke of a ticket ... keep it up lipsticked pitbull-barracuda-Palin. I just casted my early vote in Georgia this afternoon for Obama and the early turnout was phenomenal.

    Judging by the conversations around me while in ligne the vast majority of people are voting for change. We will turn Georgia blue this year!

    Obama-Biden 08!

    October 6, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
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