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. Palin is a Lady

    She wants to be treated like a lady! But her actions are far from lady like. Who is Sara Palin? She is dangerous I would not let her lead or my mutual fund.

    October 6, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  2. Michigan Voter

    I've heard that the reason for usually Republican neighborhoods sporting tons of Obama signs is that the owners are really going to vote McCain, but want to protect their property in case Obama loses and there's rioting.

    October 6, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. Helen,Ft Lauderdale

    Hey Repubs,

    Your new President for 2009 will be Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Vice President. They are going to win and all the nasty, dirty, lying tricks Palin and McSame are trying to pull out of desperation because they realise they are losing will not change that.

    Accept that they are going to lose and let's move on with getting this country back on its' feet.

    October 6, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  4. Amy

    "...check out the vice president’s schedule..."

    Ummm, Gov Palin, I hate to be the one to tell you, but you're not vice president yet!

    October 6, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. Cuban-mami-4-OBAMA

    Do not fear, when Reagan was running for governor, he said that "IF WE HAVE MEDICARE IN OUR COUNTRY, WE WILL BECOME A SOCIALIST NATION"........... Hmmmmmm. Does this sound familiar?

    There are many far-right-folks ( I am a Christian and wont call them names) ........saying that if OBAMA WINS THEY ARE MOVING.


    October 6, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. Informed Voter

    NC is going Blue!!!!!!!!!

    no more trickle down economic, no more Keating economics no more McGraham deregulation!!!!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. Lynnette

    Only after our personal finances were effected, did the American people take notice. Otherwise, we didn't take much thought into what our government was doing the past 8 years. they have literally had a blank check to play with. Sad.

    October 6, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. Pamela

    McShame and Pa"lie" campaign is desparate. Your campaign is sinking...we will be spared after all. Nov 4th cannot get here fast enough!

    October 6, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. TrueIndependent

    The McCain/Palin ticket truly is mediocre. Mediocrity is what got us in this mess. The electorate gets the leadership it deserves, I certainly do not deserve to be led by below-average guys. Really!

    October 6, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  10. C

    Hi Palin... did you know the President Bush knows the Bin Laden family? Does that make Bush a terrorist also??? The only terrorism would be to see you and McCain in the White House... now that is a terrifying throught! We are tired of people like you and trying to scare us into relinguishing some of our freedoms with your rediculous Mickie Mouse tactics! If you have no plan to help us... get the heck out of the way!!!

    October 6, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. Tyree in Virginia

    I guess Racism is alive and flourishing, and its growing at the feet of the Republican Ticket.

    Time to stop the underhanded racism and separation in America its time to say no Palin/McSame.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 6, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. Mark

    Palin is so completely unqualified – I question McCain's judgment. I was on the fence but now I'm not voting for McCain if he can let this loose cannon whose knowledge of the world can fit on a pin head. I'm not that jazzed about Obama but at least he had the sense to pick a qualified vice president – that's what has tipped my vote.

    October 6, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. The guy that is smarter than you

    Mack, you are asking why CNN is not researching the Obama connections that Palin/McCain are talking about. They have, and the results are posted. You just don't like the answers. Sorry Mack, but the truth hurts you.

    October 6, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  14. davit

    Thank God, election day is almost here. In just a few short months, our eight year long nightmare will be over. McCain will be left to ponder how he threw everything he once stood for away, Palin will be back in Alaska, never to be heard from again, and the country will truly begin to heal and resurrect itself under the leadership of a true statesman.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 6, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. Maddie

    What a total mess the Republican ticket has become.

    October 6, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    We Hispanics should recognize that a vote for Obama is a vote to become the forgotten minority – Obama will ensure that he pulls the wagon for every African in this country and other countries and leave us behind.
    I sure won't vote for Obama – he can't be trusted

    Latinos open your eyes


    October 6, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  17. Don

    While all this is nice, the only thing both campaigns along with CNN and MSNBC (I can't watch FOX, so I have no idea what they have been saying. The thought alone scares me.) have been able to focus on today is this garbage. Apparently it escaped them and both the campaigns that the economy is imploding and precious little is being said about how to fix it. At the rate we are going, it won't matter who wins, there won't be anything left.

    October 6, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. LEST

    "In the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it". - Barack Obama


    October 6, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  19. Seth

    Obama shot hoops with the North Carolina Tar Heels during the primary. “You guys are leaving the next president of the United States wide open,” Coach Roy Williams jokingly yelled.

    McCain failed to defend NC and now Obama is about to score a nice little road win on his way to the White House.

    October 6, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. Uncle John - North Carolina

    Sorry McCain / Palin, there will be NO new reality TV Series entitled, "Beverly Hillbilities take on Washington !".

    But, look on the bright side....she still has a chance to compete in another historical american race.....and thats against the Scarecrow ..... in his quest for a Brain. Actually, she pronounces her words more like the Lion.... dayum, she's multi-talented.

    October 6, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Independent FL voter

    Governor Fembot makes me sick. How dare she accuse anyone of anything, given her marriage to an anti-American secessionist. Google Joe Vogler, who founded the Alaskan Independence Party that Todd Palin belonged to for SEVEN YEARS. Read the filthy things he said about America, then remember that Governor Sarah Palin spoke at the AIP's convention THIS YEAR, saying "Good luck on a successful and inspiring convention. Keep up the good work, and God bless you."

    Why doesn't someone ask Miss Winky about that?

    October 6, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  22. Lou R

    We are witnessing the crash and burning of the McCain/Palin campaign. McCain wasted many months in failing to organize a proactive campaign organization with an effective campaigning plan. There is much outdated and shallow political thinking in the campaign strategies, actions created by a light weight advisory group, a questionable VP choice and a poor fund raising appeal. Now, the campaign finds itself in a defensive position, attempting to play catch-up as the State polling shows a widening spread between the two candidates. Time is slipping by rapidly for the McCain/Palin combo.

    October 6, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  23. Latinos for McCain

    We Hispanics should recognize that a vote for Obama is a vote to become the forgotten minority – Obama will ensure that he pulls the wagon for every African in this country and other countries and leave us behind.
    I sure won't vote for Obama – he can't be trusted

    Latinos open your eyes


    October 6, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  24. Debbie

    2008 may not be ready for a series of firsts; be it repulican or democrat. However, scary as it may be, here we go, no matter what. We're either going to have a black president, a first, or a woman as vice president, a first. Being totally optomistic; I'm hoping that will make a strong impact on whomever is elected. Being a "first" is always a lot to live up to, so leave your mark in history and make it great!
    Palm Beach Gardens, FL

    October 6, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  25. Danny


    We are so deep in financial crisis and looking for answers and here goes McCain and his robots throwing disgusting negativities to becloud the minds of Americans. This man is so foul its absolutely unbeliveable that he is not behind by 30% on the polls.
    If they preach country first, they should stay on the ECONOMY.

    The man has sold his soul to the devil!

    October 6, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
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