Palin Energizes Conservative Activists

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Despite criticism from several quarters, the Sarah Palin pick is being received very well by core Republicans.

Palin, say conservative activists, has instantly changed how they feel about [John] McCain’s campaign and spurred them to go to work for the Republican ticket.

First, though, they’re expressing their newfound fondness for McCain with their checkbooks. Since tapping Palin, the campaign has raised nearly $7 million online, according to McCain aides.

Most importantly for McCain, the two constituencies who are most energized by Palin just happen to be the twin grassroots pillars of the GOP: anti-abortion activists and pro-Second Amendment enthusiasts and sportsmen.

Palin is a staunch pro-lifer and a lifelong NRA member. Which means McCain can packaged his VP selection in two different ways. To the independents he can say: she’s a reformer who’ll bring real change to Washington. To the conservative base he can say: she’s a solid conservative who changes nothing about the Republican party.

Clearly the selection is getting reluctant social conservatives to jump on board. In the next two months we’ll see if Palin can ingratiate herself to moderates as well.