Do It For The Kids
So one of those big "election stories" is going to be how the youth vote turned out for Democrats by wide margins. It's no good being the strict daddy party when the rebellious kids come out and vote against you.
Still, there's room for improvement here. Even with these high numbers only 24% of Americans under 30 got out to vote. There's a lot of potential to reach other kids, who clearly favor Democrats (by 22 points this time around). That's why I see Barack Obama's presidential run as a distinct possibility, and although he has not yet led I think he would do well enough among this group, bringing millions of new young voters to the polls, to offset any concerns about his experience.
Of course, there's the spectre of race, but as long as Obama could carry the Mountain West he could sidestep the South, where you need to look no further than Harold Ford losing to a Howdy Doody puppet to know that's still a problem, I think it may not be a factor. And Sen. Macaca went down in Virginia, so there are purple areas to exploit.
Digby has a great post today about how the Republicans have become a regional party over the last decade, dominated by their Southern wing and beholden to its particular cultural concerns, and how Democrats should not try to become that kind of southern conservative that has been soundly rejected throughout the rest of the country. Democrats elected socialists in Vermont, populists in Montana, progressives in Ohio and moderates in Kansas. We're a big tent and there's no need to run away from that. Let's welcome back the Reagan Democrats, the pragmatic Greens, and move forward with an inclusive agenda, instead of trying to ape the party of the South with all their nasty and brutish conservatism.