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. Real Mavericks don't call themselves Mavericks!!!

    McCain and Palin are not Mavericks!

    October 6, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  2. Eaze

    Tyro, Racism is definitely alive and well in the U.S.; but not in the way you explain it.

    October 6, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  3. Mike in Texas

    McInsane and Sarah Failin have lost any credibility they had. They have stooped to the lowest of lows and have sold their souls to the devil. Hey Sarah, you wanted to answer the questions America wants answers to. Here is my question: What are you going to do about the economy? I am part of America and I want an answer.......I am still waiting.

    October 6, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  4. Allison

    For Palin to call Obama a terrorist shows how desperate her and McCain are. Palin did nothing to help the campaign.

    October 6, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  5. Hopeful in LA

    To Kathy and others who question where Obama got his campaign money - He got it from the people. There are records that will prove it. I can tell you that I have never before contributed to a political campaign. My family is not wealthy - living from paycheck to paycheck - but this election is so important to us that we have contributed $5, $10, $15 dollars at a time to the Obama campaign. We believe in him and his message of hope and change. America deserves better than what we've gotten over the past 7+ years, and I (and millions like me) trust Obama/Biden to bring honor back to Washington, the focus back on the people (afterall, WE ARE the goverment) and to restore the respect and support of our allies around the world.

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

    Who is Palin working for? McCain or Obama?

    Every time Palin opens her mouth, Obama's poll numbers go up!!! Palin needs to keep talking with that "sweet but ignorant" tone of voice – it gets more votes for Obama, hon!!!

    October 6, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. Sally

    I can't help but think that Mr. Plain should be subpeoned and hauled back to Alasks in custody. Most Americans mwould face such a situation if they failed to appear. It is time this type of thing stop. Equal treatment for all not just the powerful. Also is it not time to report on Todd's involvement in the Alaska seccession movement? Is that not the same type of group as Tim McVey belonged to when he bombed Oklahoms City. Enough of these freaks. That would include Mr McCain.

    October 6, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Voter Registration NC
    2,741,769 D
    1,961,524 R
    1,333,415 Independent

    Early voting starts Oct. 16. My family (7 people) will be voting for Obama Oct. 16 (We're all Independent)

    You do the math.

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

    Oh please CNN & Campbell Brown...
    Tell it like it is. The Obama campaign is merely defending themselves from the McCain Camp's slanderous statements. Obama has every right to react lest he be swift boated.

    October 6, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. Mel D

    Bulletin: This just in from our national news desk

    It appears the "Straight Talk Express" has lost its way. It left the road and can't find its way back. Can someone supply them a GPS so that they can find their way?

    Oops, I forgot. Not only are they not "tech-savvy", they don't have any idea what to do even if you gave them point-to-point directions.

    Obama/Biden 08

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

    To every pundit stating that the campaign tactics are going more negative-please point out exactly which campaign is doing this. McCain/Palin are using swiftboat tactics because, as McCain once said recently-"I really don't know much about economics!" We don't need a "Joe Sixpack or Hockey Mom" as our next President/VP. We do need candidates who understand the problems of our citizens, and go about solving these problems with careful, intelligent approaches. The rash, careless approach of McCain/Palin is not needed at this time. The world is just too complex. Palin-back to Alaska and soon-although I'm certain the wolves and moose don't want you back.

    October 6, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. Nicole

    The only things McCain and Palin can do now is to sling the mud fast and furious!!

    October 6, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  13. Bs

    Someone stop Rev. Palin and Rove from destroying social security.

    Hopefully, McCain,72, will retire now.

    October 6, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |



    October 6, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  15. Independent, white woman

    Palin was not too bad in her VP debate since she studied, did her homework and rehearsed her heart out, however, she is still NOT QUALIFIED to be VP or president of the USA and leader of the free world, especially in the economic crisis and catastraphy that we have been facing for months and has now reached a new low. Palin couldn't possibly be the right person for these critical times, Mccain is nowhere near being presidential. Did u see him when he(supposedly) suspended his campaign, went to Washington and did ntohing???did u see that? wow!!! what a hero, he thought he was!!!! We need someone who is aware, in touch and knowledgable about the 21st century economic crisis and how to fix it. We do not need someone who gives up on a state as soon as it looks like it's not going his way, or turn nasty, ugly and dirty as soon as poll numbers start to go down, we need someone who is consistent, determined and a fighter, with as much dignity and integrity as possible, and that someone is Senator Obama!!!!

    October 6, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. JJ

    Palin who?

    October 6, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. jm from sc

    You should also include South Carolina.

    Obama won every county here in the primary except maybe two.

    As people see McCain and Palin for what they are, I am sure he will pull it off. When people realize that Palin's husband, Todd was a member of a group who hates America, the tides will turn.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 6, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Mike in Texas

    John McCain asks who is the real Obama. My question is who is the real John McCain?

    The Maverick from 2000 is a confused bitter person who does the opposite of everything he says.

    October 6, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  19. Matt

    Since this election seems to be all about change, experiencing, reform, records, mavericking, blah blah blah, I wish someone could come up with an unbiased, non-partisan comparison chart of Biden's, Palin's, McCain's and Obama's records of what they have done. Everyone seems to be tooting their horn as to what they've done. Let's see it!

    October 6, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  20. K Phillips

    John McCain is desperate. It is really quite revealing to the American audience to see him be such a sore loser. All this Ayers stuff is old news. Maybe he did not notice today, the dow fell below 10,000 for the first time since '94. Americans retirement accounts are taking a hit and McCain wants to talk about something else. NO WAY are we as Americans going to turn the page on the econnomic health of the country. I personally do not care about Ayers, Wright, or Rezko. Americans did not take to kindly to this type of junk during the primaries, ask the Clintons. We turned on them and we will most certainly turn on McCain. I was a registered Republican, but I now have changed to an independent voter. McCain is not helping to pull me his way at all.

    October 6, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  21. KDW

    Playing Devil's Advocate...Maybe Mrs. Palin is taking her show on the road to N.C. [w/o Senator McCain] in order to enhance her credibility and prove that she has a grasp of the issues facing Americans. Also, she needs to convince the country that is capable of serving as an effective Vice President who understands she may be just "a heartbeat away" from the Presidency. Lets face it, the state of N.C. traditionally votes "RED" and she's savvy enough to understand that seizing and maintaining the initiative is what her party needs.

    I truly expect for the Obama bashing to surface in her speech to the great citizens of Greenville, NC, but that's politics as we know it and some people tends to see perception as reality....

    October 6, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. RM

    McCain campaign turns racist!
    Ayers, Wright, the middle name Hussein—all ways to attempt to portray Obama as a terrorist. These claims have all been proven wrong. They are lies. His name is only a name.
    Do you think that the CIA, FBI, NSA, and Homeland security are that stupid to allow a terrorist to run for president?!
    Conclusion: Fear tactics. This a racially motivated smear tactic

    October 6, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Nicole

    Isn't it funny that Palin's husband has to take questions regarding "troopergate" in written form? The Republicans want to make sure that each question will be answered within the guidlines of their ideals. What a bunch of con artists!!

    October 6, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  24. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Don't censor me CNN. If you want to be like Faux Noise that's fine on the tv. But I'm an american – stop censoring what I say

    Barbara – 65 yr old white female in NC October 6th, 2008 8:08 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Voter Registration NC
    2,741,769 D
    1,961,524 R
    1,333,415 Independent

    Early voting starts Oct. 16. My family (7 people) will be voting for Obama Oct. 16 (We're all Independent)

    You do the math.

    October 6, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. Brandon, NC

    Everybody I know in NC is for Obama, I don't know who they are polling but I think he will win by a landslide here. NC will be blue in November.

    October 6, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
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