McCain is Gambling to Win the Religious Right, Will it Work?
It's obvious to me that McCain picked Palin because she is a conservative Christian who could rally the base and activate the GOTV operation that Rove built while being vaguely sellable as a "reform" maverick to the media and possibly a few independents.(He reportedly wanted Lieberman and was told that Lieb couldn't bring in the Christians because of his pro-choice record, so he had to go to the D-List.) They see this as a close election that requires a base strategy. The Christian right loves Palin and are feeling their oats big time that they wielded enough clout to force a choice like this and it's quite an achievement when you think about it. (If only progressives had that kind of clout...)
But it's as much of a gamble for them as it is for McCain as Steven Waldman points out in this piece on beliefnet.
Sarah Palin: A Big Gamble for Religious Conservatives
It's been a long time since religious conservatives have been this elated about anyone. They raised Sarah Palin's choice immediately and rallied rapidly to her defense when news broke that her unmarried, teenage daughter is pregnant.