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McCain Adviser: Palin Takes Some States Off the Table

Aboard Straight Talk Air, an adviser to Sen. John McCain said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin alters the electoral map, and gave a glimpse into her role in the campaign’s strategy. From the pool report:

In his view, Sarah Palin ticket takes Montana, Georgia (and Alaska) out of play for Democrats, although adviser says he never thought they were in play anyway. In weeks ahead, adviser anticipates that campaign will use Palin not just in small and medium markets, as is traditional for a vice presidential candidate, but in large markets as well.

If Palin plays as strongly with Christian conservatives as pundits suggest, voters in heavily evangelical swing states like Iowa, Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia will be seeing an awful lot of her. As my colleague Ari Melber notes, there is plenty of time for numbers like this to change — but Palin appears to be wildly popular, at least initially.

That’s the benefit of being a virtual unknown.

If Palin can tip the balance in just a few close states, she could fundamentally reshape the map and give the Obama campaign a good reason to re-evaluate its quixotic 50-state strategy.

With two months left, it may prove practical for the Democratic Party to focus its resources more exclusively on the battleground states where Obama actually stands a chance. Particularly if McCain is able to compete financially.

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