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. Marie Ontario

    America has some funny laws. In Canada if a person were to publicly make hate statements like John & Sara are doing they would be charged for hate crimes. There are a lot of lunatics out there in this world and their rhetoric will most definitely be spawning problems.

    The other point I would like to ask is why there is nothing on the U.S. main stream news medias about the NATO commanding General stating the war in Afghanistan can't be won. I would think this is news worthy.

    October 6, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Statesmen/Stateswomen don't incite Americans to turn against one another by calling our own terrorist, this is United States of America, not Iraq, Afgan or Iran. I don't know who wrote Palin's speech but she should have been either sensitive or intelligent enough to refuse calling Obama a terrorist. This is dangerous to the freedom of every individual when a politician goes on attack like this, remember they appoint our justices and personally I don't want to be on her terrorist list.

    October 6, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  3. Alex

    Lee County's Sheriff compared Barack Obama to Hussein today during Palin rally. This is outrageous! After "his"(the "sheriff's") comment, the McCain Campaign will definitely go down with all its rednecks who are stupid enough to call Obama "a terrorist" just like it happenned today in New Mexico at a McCain rally.

    OBAMA-BIDEN * 08!

    October 6, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  4. Michael watching from Canada

    Its obvious to the rest of the world that the main cause for the economic crisis is...........

    deregulation, which is the mantra of the Republicans.

    When will Republicans stop putting Republicans first and the economy second?

    October 6, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  5. voter

    Nobama October 6th, 2008 8:02 pm ET

    I agree especially if you are voting for McCain and Palin. Take off the blinders and see the republican ticket for what it is. A disater with no plan to help average americans with the economic crisis and want to cut medicare and medicaid.

    October 6, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. Bethie T

    Palin is a complete fool with no measurable IQ.

    October 6, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  7. OS



    Police: Jobless father kills family.

    Father had MBA in finance but seemed to have been unemployed for months

    Police: Man left three letters, including one taking responsibility for shootings

    Bodies were discovered when wife didn't show up to carpool on Monday


    October 6, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  8. War Hero vs. American Zero Any Day

    30 days is an awfully long time in an election

    October 6, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  9. Larry

    I must confess I have thrown out all my McCain books and the utmost respect for him has gone out with the books.He brings in a complete joke with Palin and learning facts about her in Alaska and I am talking about the truth shows extremely poor judgemant.Now he has stooped to the gutter and below and has nothing to offer anyone but fraud,and lies.It is a sad day knowing what he had and who he was has gone completly.He has lost all of his honour,and Palin fact checked never had any.What a sad way to go into retirement with for McCain.

    October 6, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. Jennifer

    Indiana is going blue!

    October 6, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. voter

    Latinos for McCain

    Can you please stop your comments that are not based on fact? As a Latina, how can you vote republicans when they want to deport Latinos. Get your facts.

    October 6, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. liz, from MO

    Smears and gutter tactics will fail this time and because of the campaigns attact mode, McCain invited the Keating 5 issue. Now, issues like Trooper gate and Palin's address to AIP should be fair game! I do not condone negativity but it is really offensive to go on it when American people are hurting and make it a priority!

    Palin; please stick to issues.

    October 6, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  13. Il_voter

    what happened to senator Mc'Cain? I always thought he is very honorable man.

    October 6, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. Mark in Colorado

    Even the Republican rats are jumping ship with the McCain/Palin ticket. They've now got their own butts to save.

    October 6, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  15. USAF RET

    McCain and Palin need to keep pounding Obama on Rev Wright and Ayers. This is their strong suit–talking about insignificant things instead of how they plan on solving problems that Americans care about. They are a sad pair.

    Thank goodness people don't think all vets lose their honor as they get older.

    October 6, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. Jorge -- SF_CA

    To Latinos for McCain:

    I'm also a Latino, and my eyes are wide-open. I'm voting for Obama!

    Just because Obama is African American, doesn't mean he's going to forget non-Black people.

    Your comment is teeming with overtones.

    October 6, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  17. Aaron from Ohio

    On the defensive? Not a chance. McCain/Palin are looking for sanctuary. Somebody please give them a home. Let them stay at your place. Some place sparsely populated. Some place where the buffalo roam. Maybe an island. Just keep them out of our state.

    October 6, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  18. Il_voter

    what happened to Senator McCain. I always thought he is an Honorable man.

    October 6, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  19. Griff

    CNN insist in interfering!
    But this planet is one "Hugh Electro Magnet"
    CNN? Complete...... Negative.;.... Negative

    Global Warming???? Why do you insist in beleiving; The Idiot Democrat: runner up, to Bill Clinton in 19??

    October 6, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. HEY !!!

    Palin supporters are yelling "KILL HIM" at her rallies when she calls Obama a terrorist.


    October 6, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  21. Corey Gabriel

    McCain and Palin are both lying, distorting fear mongers that wouldn't know the truth if it smacked them upside their heads. It is disgraceful how McCain has morphed into his current personna after being a man of respect and honor. As for Palin, she apparently got where she is by stabbing her mentors along the way in their backs and then claiming that she was taking on the old boys' network. What a performing tool. Enough of these two...send them home,....retire them...save the Country from their grumpy, hip shooting, no plan non-sense. You betcha we can and will.

    October 6, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  22. Mike-WA

    Yah ... you betcha ... by golly ... doggone it …say it ain't so [6-pack] Joe … 'wink' 'wink'. The corruption of the Christian Republican Church Party never ceases to amaze me.

    October 6, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  23. Susie in Bandon, Oregon


    Just keep cool, stick to your positive topics, be professional, avoid being negative at any cost, and be confident you are going to be the next


    Be that a blessing or a curse considering our national miseries.

    As an Oregonian, I will be voting in our vote-by-mail in a couple of weeks.

    October 6, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  24. Sue, Newport

    Idiots are completely willing to elect Sara Palin to the possible highest
    office in the land, to take charge of their lives, knowing absolutely
    nothing of substance about her. This is how Hitler got into power.
    At least Senator Obama has been vetted. Believe me, he would not
    have gotten this far without the feds going over him with a fine tooth
    comb. You can't say the same about Sara Palin. It will be too late when
    you can't check certain books out of the library, or your daughter who's
    pregnant from rape can't have an abortion because fascist Palin won't
    allow it. Americans should wake up and stop being vunerable and
    stupid in their responsability to elect a qualified person to office. You
    see what happened to the country under Bush.

    October 6, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  25. L

    Obama was down with the terrorist and his america and white hating preacher until it became politically expedient to drop them. I guess there is no honor among thieves. Obama has NO major or even important legislative accomplishments. NONE. Obama has NO foreign policy or governing experience. NONE. Obama is the least qualified president in recent history and if he were white would not be a nominee. He is the beneficiary of unbridled (albeit justified) anger towards Bush that is then channeled to the new, fresh, even novel senator. It is amazing that folks just fall for his cult of personality. I attended his rally recently and he just bashes McCain the whole time. They all do the same thing. We just let our ideology or anger blind us to our own candidates vitriol. I am not a McCain fan either, but let's all be honest about this unqualified charlatan Obama.

    October 6, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
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