Sarah Palin has cancelled her two-day swing through California next week, the McCain campaign said today.
Whether the planned Sept. 25 fundraiser in Silicon Valley, which will raise money for state and federal GOP efforts, will go on without Palin as headliner is unclear. More than 1,000 people had RSVP'd forcing organizers to move the event from the garden of Tom and Stacey Siebel's Woodside home to the Santa Clara Convention center. Palin also was to appear at a large Orange County fundraiser and a rally for which more than 15,000 people were expected.
Campaign spokesman Rick Gorka said the Alaskan governor's calendar was "fluid" and he could not say where Palin would go instead of California, nor if she would reschedule a visit here before Election Day. McCain and Palin are campaigning today and tomorrow in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Then they will head to Florida, which is shaping up to be a very competitive state.
A Field Poll released earlier this week found that while Palin had helped McCain solidify support among his GOP base in California, the ticket had made no inroads among independent voters, a key bloc the GOP needs to win to be competitive in California. Among likely voters, the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket has a 16 percentage point advantage over the Republicans.
And a national poll out today showed Obama with a 5-point lead over McCain, a reversal from their standings before the Wall Street economic crisis
Gorka said the decision to send her elsewhere next week was not made because of the polling results.
"It's a scheduling thing,'' he said. He noted the campaign was thrilled about the enthusiasm her visit had generated in California in terms of fundraising and new volunteers,
He acknowledged Californians expecting to get their first glimpse of Palin since she was named McCain's running mate might be disappointed.
"Folks always want to see her. We don't want to cause any disappointment. We want to get her in front of as many Americans as we can.''