Unfortunately, McCain Picks a Good One
1) People who go by "feeling tone" rather than issues- "feelers" rather than "thinkers". This is a significant slice, if not the majority, of swing voters. Palin is likeable. Understand that I am not putting such people down. Most of them can make the correct decision about a person that they spend lots of time interacting with. In other words, in real life "feeling" usually works for them. In politics, especially when they get only carefully controlled views of the candidates, it often doesn't. Many politicians fit the description one Democratic Senator used for Bill Clinton: "An unusually good liar".
2) Conservative Christians who tended Huckabee. Palin is one of them. She is a corruption-fighting pro-life NRA member who defends traditional marriage (with some caveats). The areas where she does not line up with God's standards for civil government are unknowns to most conservative Christians. These folks, including presumably the Governor herself, have been mis-led into thinking that applying the Christian walk to public policy is just a matter of two or three hot-button issues rather than an interconnected world-view.
3) Democratic-voting women who are angered by Hillary Clinton's loss to Obama. This will be the smallest of the three swing groups, because most of these folks will vote Democrat no matter how angry and bitter they are at Obama. This is especially true of the so-called "feminists" in groups like NARAL and Emily's List. The real hard-core liberal women won't vote for McCain-Palin no matter how enraged they are over Obama vs. Clinton. Many of them spend their lives angry and bitter anyway, so voting that way won't be much of a change for them. But some will come over. Each vote McCain-Palin gets from these gals is like two votes- one lost for Obama-Biden and one gained for them. In an election where the country is evenly divided, even a group that is one half of one percent is meaningful.
The GOP establishment is not too crazy about Palin, and that is a good thing. Expect the corporate media to savage her. These folks want to keep the taxpayer money skids greased, and Palin has a well-earned reputation of opposing corruption. Still, if she can survive that, I expect McCain has just won the election with his pick. That is a bad thing for two reasons:
1) The economy, due to titanic bi-partisan thievery and mis-rule, is going to come crashing down in the next four years no matter which side gets in. It is going to be like getting elected Captain of the Titanic seconds before it hits the iceberg. People will still blame the folks "in charge" at the time a disaster that in reality was decades in the making becomes manifest.
2) Palin is a friendly, sincere, three-button conservative Christian. The conservative Christians will use her selection to tell themselves that "everything is OK" with their continued efforts to "take back" the Republican party. But everything is NOT OK. They never had the party, we were always used, and they never will. She will be the enabler that Lucy uses to get Charlie Brown to put all his heart and effort into trying to kick that football for one more election cycle.
Much of the rest of the country is already justifiably outraged at the Christian Right for their part in foisting the disaster that is the Bush administration on America. If they have a lead role in imposing the personally immoral and politically fascist McCain on the country, what little credibility they have left will be gone. At some point, it will become clear to even the most die-hard Christian Conservative that they need to search for political options beyond the GOP. Sarah Palin puts off that day of reckoning one more election cycle at a time when our country is in crisis. By the time reality hits, it could be too late.