Our argument has always been that Sarah Palin should be on the ticket for two reasons. First and foremost, she is one of the nations toughest and gutsiest leaders; and secondly, she can appeal to broad demographics across the country. However, we now have a third argument, a geographic one, that flies in the face of the "but she's from Alaska!" criticism. Now, to be clear, this site maintains the position that geography should be at best a secondary concern in the selection of a running mate. However, I think it is important to show that even geography is now arguing for Palin.
Yesterday, Barack Obama launched his first TV ad of the general election. It is running in 17 states, mostly traditional battlegrounds. However, he is also targeting three traditionally red states in the Northwest: Alaska, Montana, and North Dakota. If you recall, the Obama campaign recently asserted that they could win the election without winning Ohio or Pennsylvania, and now we know what they were thinking. Obama is planning to to pick off the small, red-leaning states where he won the Democratic caucuses and McCain lost the GOP caucuses to Mitt Romney. Hence, a Northwestern running mate is needed to solidify McCain's hold on these states.
Furthermore, one of the bigger surprises of this campaign has been the fact that McCain could have a slim lead in traditionally blue Michigan. A Northern running mate could definitely help him protect that lead. Another interesting poll shows that McCain could take Minnesota if he selects Bobby Jindal as his running mate. Palin and Jindal are often lumped together as up-and-coming reformers, but Palin is also a Northerner. Hence, it is not a stretch to think that a McCain-Palin ticket would outperform even a McCain-Jindal ticket, putting Minnesota solidly in the Republican column.
It really boils down to this: Governor Palin knows how to speak the language of the Northern U.S. She calls herself a "hockey mom", not a "soccer mom"; and her strong Alaskan accent bears great similarity to Minnesotan, Dakotan, and Michigander accents. I realize that this sounds petty, but petty issues often affect the way people react to a candidate; and Palin can personally relate to Northerners in a way that most other candidates (especially the Southwestern McCain) cannot.
So, while geography has been used to agrue against a Palin nomination, the changing electoral map now makes a strong agument in her favor.