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Hard to believe, but it's true.

With Senator McCain badly outgunned on television, the independent advertising arm of the Republican Party -- which can spend freely on advertising as long as it does not coordinate its plans with those of the McCain campaign or the Republican National Committee's central command -- is stepping up its efforts in some unlikely places.

The latest: Montana, a usually, reliably red state that is rarely ever considered in need of defending for Republicans during presidential campaigns. Democrats who monitor advertising spending report that the "independent expenditure" unit placed a new buy today, totaling between $300,000 and $400,000. Republicans confirm.

So what the heck is the RNC doing there? Beeton posits:

This is why you compete everywhere. The RNC never should have had to invest in Montana but now Pollster has McCain up by under 3 points in the state and this is several hundred thousand dollars that can not be spent in Florida or Virginia.

I disagree somewhat. Yes, this is a result of the 50-state strategy, but the $400K the RNC is spending in Montana couldn't be better spent in PA or Florida. At this point, if McCain loses Montana, he's lost a crapload more and the election. This isn't an electorally defensive move, and if the money could really make a difference in Florida or Pennsylvania, that's where it would go. I suspect it's a propaganda one.

We've been talking about the importance of a geographic mandate, and the RNC is suddenly seeing the danger of having Obama win blood Red states like Montana and Indiana (another state it has entered on McCain's behalf).

At this point, I suspect they all know McCain is going to lose. So they're trying to minimize the scope of his loss.

Not to mention, Republicans have been long invested in maps showing most of the country bathed in Red. Montana is geographically a big-ass chunk of America.

Again, a propaganda play, not an electoral one.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Oct 28, 2008 at 02:40 PM PDT.

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