McCain's Two General Election Targets

(What happened to New Mexico? Click here.)

Republicans tasked by John McCain's presidential campaign with planning for his general election strategy have settled on two states John Kerry won in 2004 as their prime turnover targets for 2008.

They are Pennsylvania, which has 21 electoral votes and New Hampshire, which has 4.

The targeters seem to have Barack Obama in mind as their opponent, but the logic holds even if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination.

None of the three states will be easy to flip. Even though Pennsylvania is arguably the weakest large state in the Democratic electoral coalition, party identification is trending their way. In Philadelphia suburbs like Montgomery County, Republicans still control key county commission seats, but Democrats gain with every election. The economy in Pennsylvania is faring better than in the industrial Midwest, and the war is very unpopular. Watch for McCain to target Northwestern counties won by Sen. Bob Casey -- and Reps. Holden, Murtha and Carney. Watch for the Philly suburbs to be ground zero in any Democratic effort to highlight McCain's pro-life credentials.