Fivethirtyeight takes a look at how Sarah Palin will do when she runs for the presidency. Nate Silver takes a lot at Romney’s possible strategy, also:
Palin Plan A. Win Iowa. Win South Carolina. Clean up in orange states. You probably have enough momentum to survive the consolidation of the GOP field which is liable to occur at this point.
Palin Plan B. Lose Iowa narrowly, especially to a Midwestern candidate. Hope that a Southerner isn’t running strongly and win South Carolina. Clean up in orange states. Then you anchor in the South, winning Texas (green group), Florida/Georgia (gold group) or Indiana/North Carolina (purple group). At some point, you need to break through and win a big Midwestern battleground like Ohio or Wisconsin.
Palin Plan C. Win Iowa. Lose South Carolina narrowly to a Southern candidate. Regain momentum in orange states. Hope that green states vote next and aim in particular for a big win in Texas. If it’s the gold states instead, go all-in in Ohio and Pennsylvania. If it’s the purple states, you’ll need some help.