State News

Palin returns to N.C.; Obama, McCain coming this weekend

Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is visiting North Carolina today. Both presidential candidates will make appearances in the state this weekend. will carry Palin's speech live at 3:15 p.m.

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ELON, N.C. — Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Thursday was scheduled to make her second stop in North Carolina in as many weeks.

Palin planned to hold a rally at Elon University, complete with a guest appearance by singer-songwriter Hank Williams Jr. The Alaska governor held a similar rally at East Carolina University on Oct. 7. will carry Palin's speech live at 3:15 p.m. A one-on-one interview with her by WRAL's David Crabtree will be posted online Thursday evening.

Campaign officials said Palin would speak about the economy and would touch on issues raised during Wednesday night's presidential debate. She also planned to question the leadership skills of Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

The Republican ticket has increased its presence in the state lately in response to polls that showed a dead heat between Obama and GOP candidate John McCain.

North Carolina hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

McCain made his first public visit to North Carolina in six months when he attended a Wilmington rally on Monday. There, he urged his supporters to disregard the polls and to continue fighting to get him elected.

McCain also is scheduled to speak Saturday at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center in Concord. Doors open at 8 a.m. for the 10 a.m. event, and tickets are available through McCain campaign offices on a first-come, first-served basis.

Obama and his running mate, U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, have made several appearances in North Carolina in the past month. Most recently, Obama spoke at an Oct. 5 rally in Asheville and then spent the following two days in western North Carolina to prepare for a debate against McCain.

A statement from the Obama campaign late Wednesday said he would hold a rally in the Fayetteville area on Sunday. No other details were available.

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