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Opinion: Sarah Palin heads for Indiana Friday; not a good sign for GOP

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Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will campaign in Indiana on Friday.

Not a good sign for the Republican ticket.

The 44-year-old vice presidential candidate wows the faithful wherever she goes. She’s mobbed by fans, especially young girls. She draws publicity. All good.

But the Republicans should not have to campaign in Indiana less than three weeks out from election day.

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Latest state polls show the McCain-Palin ticket ahead by two points in the Hoosier state; Karl Rove’s national electoral map, published regularly here in The Ticket, shows the Republicans just having regained Indiana from the tossup category.

But it’s a measure of how the Obama-Biden campaign, rolling in money, has forced the GOP candidates to play defense far too long into the campaign. They’ve recently also been forced to shore up support in two other once-staunch-Republican states -- Virginia and North Carolina.

Even if the Democratic ticket doesn’t take Indiana on Nov. 4, it’s forced the Republicans to ‘waste’ a precious day of candidate time defending the heartland state and not chipping away at Democratic states elsewhere.

Indiana hasn’t voted Democratic in a presidential election since the year Palin was born.

--Andrew Malcolm

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